Tips for Staying Safe in The Water This Summer

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Don't Let the 4th of July Go Tragically Wrong
Constantly watch kids around water to prevent child drowning

36 children have drowned in Texas this year and long holiday weekends like the 4th of July can be especially deadly. 7 drowned over the Memorial Day Weekend alone.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) urges parents and all adults to keep constant watch on children when they're around water, especially young children. It's hot and everyone wants to stay cool. But always remember that it only takes a minute or two for a child to drown.

“Nothing is more tragic and painful than the untimely death of a child or youth,” said DFPS Commissioner John Specia. "If you're going to a party or event near water this weekend, talk to all the adults on hand about water safety and about keeping their eyes on all the children at all times."

Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death among young children and the younger the child the greater the danger. Most victims are boys and the vast majority are six years of age or younger. Learn more about child drowning deaths and how to prevent them at The website is full of water safety tips, drowning statistics, and a "Lifeguard 101" teaching tool. The goal is to educate and motivate parents and other adults to "be lifeguards for kids" both indoors and outdoors.

This year, Texas kids have drowned in bathtubs, pools, ponds, creeks, and rivers. However, backyard and apartment swimming pools are by far the most common places that children drown. Plus, child drowning is a much bigger problem in some parts of Texas than in others. Greater Houston accounts for 19 of the 36 child drowning deaths this year - 11 in Harris County alone!

Child-drowning deaths in Texas typically peak in June and July and the vast majority happen from Memorial Day through Labor Day, when children are out of school and the weather is hot. See the map on to learn where children have drowned in Texas this year.

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.