BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Texas leads the nation in the number of children drownings this year with a total of 56 lives lost; including five fatalities in the Rio Grande Valley.
There is no better place to spend a hot, long, summer day in Texas than in water. However, in seconds, a fun day at the beach or pool, can turn into a tragedy.
Monica Rosales, Aquatic Center Coordinator, “The number one thing I would advise parents is there needs to be supervision at all times when any kids are around the water.”
In Cameron County, two children, aged 3 and 4 died in swimming pools in 2019. In Hidalgo County, 3 children lost their lives. A 9 and 10-year-old in a lake and pool, and an 8-month-old baby in a bucket. Thankfully, drowning is highly preventable.
“It’s very easy for an adult for us to get distracted someone calls or someone taxes we have to make sure we’re always watching our kids when they’re around the water even if it’s shallow water.” says Rosales.
The biggest danger is being the lack of barriers to prevent access to the water and lack of supervision.
Edwin Villegas, Lead Swim Instructor, “Never go into something that you can’t see. If you can’t see the bottom of the pool, if you can’t really if it gets kind of murky, if it doesn’t look the cleanest try not to go in because you never know what might be in there. There might be animals there might be a fungus. I would say be very careful around the water.”
While supervision is crucial in swim safety, there are other creative ways to keep kids safe.
“We can always tell them to carry a jug of milk you fill up the milk gallon about halfway and tire up to it that way that already becomes a life safety kind of like a ring buoy but it’s kind of makeshift so that’s also a very great way.” says Villegas.
Experts also recommend parents, guardians and older children learning CPR, as it is the most effective way to improve outcomes in the event of a drowning incident.