Officials stress "Pool Safety" while swimming this summer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/25/09

Officials stress "Pool Safety" while swimming this summer

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services says already 55 children have drowned since the start of this summer alone.  That's more than half the number of drowning for 2008.

It's an alarming number that stuck in Velvet McFadden's head. For the first time, she enrolled her two kids in swim lessons this summer.  "We were going back and forth on whether or not we wanted to do this and that was our deciding factor, that is very disturbing," said McFadden

"It's important for me and my husband and also for my kids to be safe in the water and to know that I can bring them out here and they will feel comfortable here," says McFadden.

Seahorse Swim School General Manager Wolfe McLarty says learning how to swim is crucial. "Drowning is a very preventable thing," said McLarty.

"We already have a high number of child-drowning deaths considering that this summer has just officially started," said Becky Cruz with Family and Protective Services. Cruz warns parents it's their responsibility to always watch their children when around water.

"Parents take for granted at a swimming pool that we have life guards watching our children, but it's our responsibility as parents, to watch our child and be within reach of our child," said Cruz. And the more safety precautions you can take the better. "It only takes a second for a kiddo to fall in, so it's very important that they know how to swim so if they fall in they can swim back to the bank and save themselves," said McLarty.

McFadden's children are only three lessons in, but she can't believe the progress they've made. "Amazing progress, amazing," said McFadden.

Now fortunately no drowning deaths have taken place in Lubbock, but Family and Protective Services remind parents that children can drown in just two inches of water.

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