Water Safety This Summer

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Friday, June 22, 2012 - 8:09am

"I knew that if he knew how to swim you know it would make a difference," said Peter Rosales.

He was 12 when he received the news that his uncle had drowned.

"I remember I was in school when they told me and of course I was sad," said Rosales.

Rosales says the tragedy has made him aware of the dangers of water and has passed the safety on to his children. Every summer he brings them to the Edinburg Municipal Water Park so they can advance their skills. 

He keeps a close eye on them.

"I know there's a lot of lifeguards around and stuff, but you know I'm still there by the fence, keeping an eye on them making sure they're okay," said Rosales.

The pool sees more than 500 kids a day and lifeguard, Alyssa Gutierrez says swim lessons last a lifetime.

"The important stuff is to get them to float and also be able to kick and move their arms for safety," said Gutierrez.

Monitoring every step your child makes in water is life or death.

"Somebody can drown in only 2 inches of water. They can fall and hit their head and just be breathing in the water," said Gutierrez.

Drownings are the number one cause of accidental deaths for children under five and unlike what we see in the movies, kids often drown in silence.

"They won't ever splash because for especially little kids, they lose their balance, their heads are not proportionate to their body and they just thunk over and we don't even know or think anything of it," said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez says children should know the propper usage of life vests so it doesn't ride up and choke them.

"If they're ever on a boat tipped over for a long time, just to be on their back and hold on right here," said Gutierrez.

Pool drains that are popped up and more visible are available, but it's important to steer clear from filters all together.

"Keep them away from there at all times that you possibly can. Let them know that's not where you want to be at all times," said Gutierrez.

Getting kids acquainted with water and swimming should start early and it's exactly what Rosales has done in hopes that there may never be another drowning in the family.

"When my kids have children and I'm a grandparent, I want them to learn how to swim and then the cycle continues...the cycle continues," said Rosales.

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