While thousands of North Texans enjoy the summer weather by heading to area lakes or neighborhood swimming pools, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind before taking a dip.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 10 people die from unintentional drowning each day — and more than 10-percent of those deaths involve children under the age of 14. Statistically, men/boys are more likely to drown than women/girls.
When it comes to public swimming pools experts suggest that you should try to only swim in areas supervised by lifeguards. Whether at a public or private pool, it’s a good idea to always swim with a buddy. And of course adults should never leave young children unattended near water.
While swimming in ponds, creeks or area lakes, remember that cool water temperatures, fast currents and underwater debris can be dangerous.
CDC officials say most children between one- and four-years-old drown in home swimming pools, while drownings among people 15 years and older mostly happen around natural bodies of water.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services statistics have more than 70 children across the state drowning in 2015. So far this year 36 Texas children have drowned.
Workers with the MedStar ambulance service confirm they have responded o nearly a dozen water emergency calls in the last month alone.
According to officials with the Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas ranks number one in the nation for child pool drownings. Cook Children’s has also put together detailed drowning prevention and water safety information.
When it comes to swimming pool safety here are a few tips from the experts:
- Make sure everyone going in the water knows how to swim.
- Actively supervise children at all times.
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers.
- Keep toys away from the pool when no one is swimming.
- Keep everyone, especially children, away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
- No diving in a pool that is not deep enough.
- Don’t allow running on the pool deck.
- Empty blowup pools after each use.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
Most of the same rules apply when swimming in natural bodies of water, but officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also suggest you –
- Wear a life jacket.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay hydrated.
- Know your swimming skills and don’t rely on flotation devices.
- Swim in designated swimming areas.
- If you find yourself in a current, do not swim against it. Instead, swim with it until conditions calm.
- If you notice the water rising, turning muddy or changing, leave the area immediately.
Texas summertime temperatures will always be hot and people will seek solace in the water, so it’s important to know these tips and more — not just during holiday weekends, but anytime you or a child heads into the water.