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Swim safety should be priority this summer

HOUSTON – There's growing concern that protecting children from the coronavirus could expose them to other dangers around the home, especially this summer.

That includes swimming in safe places.

According to Help and Hope, 11 children across our area have drowned already this year.

"They are home all the time. They are not going to school, they aren’t going to parks.. They are not outside doing other things,” American Academy of Pediatrics’ Ben Hoffman, MD, warned.

Every year, hundreds of teens drown. If your teenager has never learned to swim, it's never too late, according to the latest PSA released from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Due to COVID-19 closures, the YMCA does not yet know if or when they will do their free annual safe swim lessons. Although, they are offering these online videos about swim safety for pre-school and grade-school kids, plus one on the basics of CPR.

Hoffman says it’s critical information since these tragedies can strike quickly.

“Almost all the drownings are with a parent that turned their back for 30 seconds, went to answer a phone call or check something in a different room and they come back and the child is face down in the water,” Hoffman said.

There's no substitute for vigilant supervision but Hoffman knows now (more than ever) working from home, overwhelmed with additional workload or just bored, parents are too distracted. He advises adults to pay attention anytime children are near water.

"That is an adult’s job who is to do nothing but watch the water. That means no cell phone, no alcohol no other distractions,” he said.