Tarrant County seeing large spike in child drownings
There have been more child drownings in Tarrant County before the first day of summer this year than in all of 2017. That's why officials say education is key.
There are programs that teach children at a very early age how to keep from drowning even if they haven't learned to swim at low to no cost.
The higher drowning numbers are troubling to swim instructors and those involved in teaching water safety. That's why they're trying to change the statistics by making sure kids and parents know what to do.
4-year-old Camylle Williams isn't taking swim lessons but rather is learning how not to drown. Her father, Josiah Williams, couldn't be more relieved.
"We wanted to be prepared for the case that if my child was at a friend's house in a pool,” he said. “Anything could happen."
James Fike is the president of the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition. He says this drowning prevention program is open to the public and is only $10 a child. It teaches water safety to both the child and the parent.
“Most importantly, how to fall in and get themselves back to the wall in the event of an accident,” he explained.
According to the Tarrant County Public Health Department, there has been a spike in juvenile drownings so far this year. There have been already seven drownings, including two in May.
In all of 2017, there were only five child drownings.
"We're talking about cancer this is all preventable,” Fike said. “It doesn't have to happen. Even having one drowning, it's heartbreaking because for whatever reason it could have been prevented."
With so many drownings occurring in apartment pools, the Dallas YMCA is holding its “Safety Around Water Initiative.” It provides swim lessons at no cost at apartment community pools throughout Dallas County.
But the instruction is two-fold. Parents should also learn to be aware.
YMCA Dallas Water Safety
Fort Worth YMCA