HOUSTON — Drowning is quick and quiet and the second leading cause of death for children under 15.
At least 24 children have drowned in Texas this year, according to HelpAndHope.org. Twenty of the victims were ages 5 and under. They lost their lives in ponds, pools, bathtubs -- even a bucket.
The most recent tragic case happened at the Houston home of former Los Angeles Dodger Carl Crawford. Five-year-old Kasen Hersey and 25-year-old Bethany Lartigue, who may have been trying to save the boy, drowned in a backyard pool.
Helpandhope.org offers some simple ways to help prevent your child from becoming part of these heartbreaking statistics.
- A responsible adult should always supervise children in and around water. Keep new swimmers and non-swimmers within arm’s reach.
- You can also designate a “Water Watcher” whose job is to maintain constant watch over kids at the pool during pool parties.
- Make sure the adult knows CPR and has a phone to call 911.
- Have flotation devices available to use in a rescue
- Share rules with anyone who may watch your child
- Teach water survival skills
The CDC says swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88 percent. The earlier your child learns to swim, the better.
Along with swim lessons, your child should know how to:
- Return to the surface if they fall in over their head
- Float or tread water
- Turn in a circle in the water and look for an exit
- Swim 25 yards (75 feet)
- Get out of the pool without using the ladder
Outdoor safety tips
- Never leave children alone in or around water (pools, kiddie pools, lakes, creeks, buckets, beaches, ponds or drainage ditches).
- Constantly watch children when swimming or playing near water. They need a certified lifeguard or responsible adult within reach.
- Floaties can give small children a false sense of security. They don’t realize it’s the floaties that are keeping them above water. Don’t take them off while you’re near water.
- Secure the area around the pool with a fence, self-closing gate and alarms.
- Find out if your child's friends or neighbors have pools at their homes.
- Do not allow children to swim in any water after heavy rains or flooding.
- When pool is in use, completely remove pool covers and cleaning machines.
Indoor safety tips
- Never leave small children alone near any container of water, including tubs, buckets, coolers, toilets or aquariums. A child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
- Keep bathroom doors closed and secure toilet lids with locks.
- Never leave young children alone in or around the bath. Drownings can happen in even tiny amounts of water.
- Get what you need before filling the tub. If you need to leave the room, take the child with you.
- Make sure children cannot leave the house to get to pools or hot tubs.