HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO-TV) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is one of the leading causes of death throughout the United States.
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While most families are taking the chance to enjoy spending time in the water this holiday weekend, local officials are encouraging families to stay alert on their loved ones.
John Lennan, Media Relations for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said water safety drowning does not only happen in a pool or beach.
“It can happen anywhere at any time and it only takes a matter of moments to happen,” said Lennan.
According to Lennan, water safety gear helps prevent drowning but supervision is a top priority. Lennan said anyone can get injured while being inside the water.
“The child can have a cramp in the water and that’s why it’s so important for you to have eyes on the children when they’re in any body of water,” said Lennan.
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Juan Gloria, Public Information Officer for the McAllen Fire Department, said it is important to not multitask while supervising others in the water.
“Supervising is not when you are on the phone, you know looking at social media and you are watching your kids,” said Gloria.
Gloria said the reason why it is important to be aware is because drowning happens silently.
“You don’t make much noise if you are going down especially if you’re already submerged, nobody is going to hear you,” said Gloria.
Lennan encourages those who do not know how to swim to take swimming classes in case of an emergency situation.
“If a parent doesn’t know how to swim chances are that the kids don’t know how to swim either and this is a great opportunity for a family to get together and take swim lessons as a group,” said Lennan.
In addition, Gloria said parents need to be aware of pool drains because it is possible for one’s clothing to get sucked in.
Both Lennan and Gloria said they are not discouraging anyone from having fun in the water but want families to help prevent accidental drowning.
Lennan encourages families to visit www.watchkidsaroundwater.org for further tips on water safety.