WEBXTRA: East Texas lifeguards explain the 'silent process' when children drown

WEBXTRA: East Texas lifeguards explain the 'silent process' when children drown
Source: KTRE Staff

By Jennifer McGruder

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Swimming is one of the world's favorite hobbies; especially during the summertime in East Texas.

Visiting your local pool is a great way to get the kiddos off the couch and into the water for some summertime fun.

However, parents and caregivers should be aware of the safety precautions when it comes to young children in the water.

In fact, one common myth is the act of drowning is noisy and when a child drowns, and that the parent would be able to hear when it happens -- but it's actually a "silent process."

"Because children are usually head-heavy, especially smaller ones, they go in and never make a noise," said SFA Aquatic and Safety Coordinator Katie Yandell.

Research shows that each year 300 children younger than five drown in swimming pools and spas. And with statistics like that, distractions like cellphones can potentially add to that number.

"As a parent myself, I keep the electronics inside. One cause they overheat when they're outside, there's no point in having them around the pool. I want to make sure that I'm enjoying this time with my children and I know that they're okay," said Yandell.

While lifeguards are present at most pools -- it is imperative if a parent or caregiver chooses to use their cellphones while the child is at play, to be aware and attentive.

"Even though there are lifeguards, they don't always catch everything. You see a lot of instances on the news about a civilian picking up a kid that was drowning in the pool because a lifeguard didn't see it," said Rachel Nanez, an SFA Recreational Lifeguard.

Above all – Yandell and Nanez say parents and caregiver should remain attentive at all times while at the pool this summer.

For more information on safety precautions visit your local American Red Cross, click here.

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