5 tips to help keep your child safe when around water

HOUSTON – Thirty-three children in Texas died from drowning in 2019.

It's a tragic death that many officials believe can be prevented by keeping kids away from the water or teaching them to swim at a young age.

Here are a few safety tips from YMCA senior director of aquatics Candi Revere:

Drowning does not look like what you think

“It's nothing like you see in the movies. You see the hand-waving and the screaming, and when somebody's drowning there swallowing a whole bunch of water, they're potentially going under the water, they're not able to do that. So, it's very silent,” Revere said.

Do not take your eyes off of kids in the water

“I know it seems like it doesn't take a whole lot of time, I’m just going to check my text really quick or answer this call real quick, but when you get distracted something can happen and it takes as little as 20 seconds for anybody to go under the water,” Revere said.

Risks of secondary drowning

If your child is ever underwater for a while or swallows too much water while swimming, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital said they could be at risk for secondary drowning. That's an inflammation in the lungs after a near-drowning event.

Parents should be aware of signs:

  • fast breathing
  • coughing
  • change in color
  • shortness of breath

Visit here for more water safety tips from Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Wear proper flotation device, not floaties

Water wings or “floaties” are giving parents a false sense of security, according to the YMCA. They can deflate, come off and not work as well as other flotation devices. Instead, they recommend Coast Guard-approved life jackets.