P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2009
AUSTIN — State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today called on parents and caregivers to watch children closely around pools this summer, which is on path to become the state's deadliest for swimming pool drownings.
“As Texans turn to pools and lakes for relief from the summer heat, these tragedies are unfortunately becoming more frequent,” Senator Nelson said. “In order to save children from harm, we are urging adults to be as vigilant as possible."
According to the Department of Family & Protective Services, 77 children under 18 have drowned this year. Most of the drownings have been in residential pools, both in-ground and above-ground, and most of the children have been toddlers. Federal statistics show that most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home and had been out of sight for less than five minutes.
State health officials are worried this could be the deadliest summer on record for drownings, surpassing 82 deaths that occurred in 2008. June 2009 was the worst month for child drownings since Texas began counting the deaths in 2005, with 30 children losing their lives around the state. Senator Nelson offered the following tips to keep youngsters safe:
- Never take your eyes off children playing around or in a pool and avoid distractions like reading or talking on the phone.
- Use approved life jackets and teach children how to swim and float on their backs.
- Keep doors locked and install pool fences with self-closing and latching gates. Water surface alarms also are recommended.
- Learn CPR. Quick resuscitation can help a drowning victim survive and avoid brain damage.
- Store water toys away from the pool when they are not in use.
- Know if your child’s friends have home pools.
Additional information is available at www.dfps.state.tx.us/seeandsave.