SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The park board has announced a couple of new safety precautions they say are to keep up with modern times.

“The pool connection is a digital ID that just lives in our system we use to check people in when we get here and it includes your name and your parent’s name and phone number and how to reach them in case of an accident,” said Jenny Fillmer Edwards, the public information administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

The process has two steps. First, you need to create an Activenet account, which may be filled out online or on paper. Then, you need to make an in-person visit to a family center or to the outdoor pool to complete the pool connection.

It’s free to sign up. Though it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended.

Another new rule the park board is implementing is that children 11 and younger will have to have an adult 18 or older with them to enter the pool.

This change also matches the age requirements already in place at family centers and indoor pools.

One challenge the Springfield-Greene County Park Board has faced in recent years is finding lifeguards for the pools.

The pandemic really took a toll on the park board finding lifeguards for the pools but officials said this year is looking a lot better than years past.

“We have more returning lifeguards from the past two pool seasons, but we think we are finally moving out of that pandemic effect. We have a good number of lifeguards this year,” said Edwards.

Because the park board has been able to hire more lifeguards, they are also able to add several pool days to their locations.

All locations will open three or four days a week, an increase from 2022 when pools operated two or three days a week.