TYLER - Drowning is the leading cause of death in Texas for children ages one to four, according to Lone Star Lifesavers, and it's almost entirely preventable. One mother at Fun Forest Park in Tyler said it's not just the lifeguard's responsibility to keep kids safe at the pool, but parents should take action, too.
"If I can't see them, then they can't see me. Then we have a problem," Crystal Ramirez said.
Her eyes are on her children at all times when they take a trip to the pool, keeping close tabs.
She said having several lifeguards at pools like Fun Forest helps, but it's nearly impossible for them to watch dozens of children at once.
ETMC lifeguard and swim coach Sage Ervin agreed, saying parents must do their due diligence.
"It doesn't take much just to look up, see where they're at," Ervin said. "If your child ever goes missing, make sure the water is the first place you check, because seconds matter if a child is drowning."
According to Help and Hope, 38 children have already died from drowning in Texas. One was right here in East Texas in Henderson County.
Ervin says a good idea to lay down a few ground rules. Make sure kids know they can't swim unless an adult is watching, even at home.
If you have a pool, secure it with proper barriers.
Avoid distractions - like checking your cell phones - while watching your children, especially if you're in an area without a lifeguard.
"If you're going on a summer vacation, or spending the day out on the lake, make sure that your child has proper floatation devices," Ervin said.
One mistake she said parents make is assuming one swim lesson is all it takes to teach your children how to swim. She suggests continuing education to ensure they can swim without supervision, just in case of an emergency.
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