The Texas Department of Family & Protective Services recently released statistics for the first half of 2014 and they show an unexpectedly high number of children drowning for Harris County and nearby areas, including Liberty and Fort Bend Counties. The listed accidents demonstrate that anywhere your child interacts with water – bathtub, pool, pond, or other – can be a source of danger.

The unfortunate truth is the majority of these tragedies were preventable. These alarming statistics reinforce the need to review summer safety tips to help you and your children enjoy the water safely:

  • Equip your pool with effective safety features, including barrier fence with self-latching gate, safety cover, pool alarm, and a nearby first aid kit.
  •   Keep your pool clean and well-tended.
  • Be aware of lightning and clear everyone from the water during a thunder storm.
  • Actively supervise all children in the pool, rivers and lakes, tub, or anywhere there is water.
  • Pay particular attention to new swimmers and allow them to explore and become comfortable in the water at their own pace.
  • Thoroughly educate kids in the basics of pool safety: before going in the water always ask a parent or adult, always have an adult present while in the water, use the buddy system, no running or pushing, and avoid drains, suction outlets and sweepers.

Aside from summer water safety tips, the most effective way to protect your kid from drowning is to enroll them in swim lessons or a water survival course. We’ve looked previously at the statistics that prove swim lessons drastically reduce the risk of children drowning. With the year off to a tough start, now more than ever is the time to focus on water safety for infants and children.

Summer is the best time to have fun in the water with children, but make sure you accept the added responsibility of making that time safe.