AMARILLO, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — The following is a press release from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services:
With thousands of families planning to spend the Labor Day weekend enjoying swimming pools, lakes and beaches, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) urges parents and caregivers to keep constant watch on kids when they’re around water, especially young children.
So far in 2021, there have been 65 child drowning deaths in Texas with four in the Panhandle area (one 11-year-old boy in a Crosby County lake and three swimming pool drownings in Lubbock County with all victims under 5 years of age.) Currently seventy percent of drowning reports in Texas are children under the age of 5.
“It’s sad because these are preventable tragedies,” said Sasha Rasco, the chief of DFPS prevention programs. “Yes, we live in a fast-paced, multi-tasking world, but we all need to realize it only takes seconds for a child to drown when adults aren’t paying close attention.”
Parents and other adults need to be vigilant about watching kids around water, both indoors and outdoors, while also having fun and enjoying being active and together as a family.
Most child drownings occur in backyard or apartment swimming pools. Children also drown in ponds, rivers, lakes, coastal waters, creeks, bathtubs, and anywhere there is water.
Additional Texas statistics about child drownings, (victim age/county/reported location) can be found at: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/Child_Drownings/
Basic Water Safety Tips
Outside the house
- Never leave children alone around water whether it is in a pool, drainage ditch, creek, pond, lake, or beach.
- Constantly watch children who are swimming or playing in water. They need an adult or certified lifeguard watching and within reach.
- Secure swimming pools. Use fences, self-closing and latching gates, and water surface alarms.
- Completely remove the pool cover when the pool is in use.
- Store water toys away from the water, when not in use, so they don’t attract a small child.
- Don’t assume young children will use good judgment and caution around water.
- Be ready for emergencies. Keep emergency telephone numbers handy and learn CPR.
- Find out if your child’s friends or neighbors have pools.
Inside the house
- Never leave small children alone near any container of water. This includes toilets, tubs, aquariums, or mop buckets.
- Keep bathroom doors closed and secure toilet lids with lid locks.
- Never leave a baby alone in a bath for any reason. Get the things you need before running water. Infants can drown in any amount of water. If you must leave the room, take the child with you.
- Warn babysitters or caregivers about the dangers of water to young children and stress the need for constant supervision.
- Make sure small children cannot leave the house through pet doors or unlocked doors and reach pools or hot tubs.
(Press release from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services)