Summer time is the peak season for child drownings

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Summer is the time of year when children are more likely to drown, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

In the last month, two children have drowned in Brazos County. So far in 2019, at least 42 children have drowned in Texas. More than half of those drownings happened in places like swimming pools. Experts encourage everyone to learn how to swim and keep practicing.

"We're just doing it like at the beginning of the summer and at the end of the summer," said Jackson Bullock, a 10-year-old from Bryan.

He was at the Bryan Aquatic Center taking swim lessons. He started as an infant and takes them every year. Others like 14-year-old Isabella Mercer and her siblings are new at taking lessons.

"We really started because mom thought we need to learn how to swim and it's been a lot of fun just being able to learn how to swim and I find it easy and Henry and Lilly are enjoying it too," she said.

At the Bryan Aquatic Center, swimming lessons start as young as six months and there's no age limit.

“Swimming lessons save lives. Water safety is very, very important," said Bryan Aquatics Supervisor Marty Mulgrew.

He said there are misconceptions about how drownings happen.

"You know, the movies portray drowning as this very active, very loud event and it's not. Drowning is a very silent event because once you actually get into where you're actually drowning it's silent. You're going underwater," he said.

Mulgrew added pools aren't the only dangerous places for children.

"Most of these drownings for children really are occurring in the home setting; pools, spas, buckets, coolers, things like that," he said.

Kids tell us learning to be better swimmers is something they enjoy.

"Kind of fun," said Bullock.

Water safety experts said if you or your child aren't the strongest swimmers, wear a life jacket that is Coast Guard approved. They come in different sizes and a great thing to also wear if you're in any type of water. Many of the drownings at lakes can also be prevented by wearing one.

Experts said distraction is also a big problem with more and more parents paying attention to their phones, or something else other than kids swimming. Water safety experts suggest having an adult keep an eye on those in the water.