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Experts weigh in on what to look for to prevent drownings

One of the most important safety rules is to watch the entire body of water -- not just where kids are swimming.

HOUSTON — There have already been several drownings in the Houston area, and summer is just getting started.

Swim lessons and installing self-latching pool gates are ways to protect your little ones, but what do the experts do to prevent drownings?

RELATED: Free swim lessons in the Houston area

RELATED: Water safety tips: How to keep your child from drowning

Vera Solis is the risk manager at Typhoon Texas in Katy. She’s trained lifeguards and instructors at waterparks all over the world.

Solis said there are certain signs to look for when a swimmer is in trouble.

“They’ll tip their head back. They’ll maybe flail their arms a little bit. They’ll be in that vertical position, then you know they’re in a little too far,” Solis said.

One of her most important safety rules is to watch the entire body of water -- not just where kids are.

Lifeguards at Typhoon Texas oversee specific zones. They are taught to look for blind spots and glares.

“As the daylight changes, we may relocate the guard stand itself, so we do validate it at different times of day to make sure we can see the top, middle, and bottom of the water,” said Brannan Holland, Typhoon Texas Operations Manager.

Parents can do the same at neighborhood and home pools.

Experts say over-communicating is key. There should always be a designated adult to watch the water.

Kids should know where they are and aren’t allowed to swim, and who they should go to for help.

“The biggest thing is educating them, making sure they understand where the water gets deeper, understand the waves, and understand their swimming abilities,” Holland said.

Experts stress the importance of swimming lessons.

The CDC said classes can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.

Typhoon Texas will participate in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on June 20 at 8:30 a.m. The free event is limited to the first 300 participants. For more information: https://www.typhoontexas.com/houston/park-events


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