Summer is here and East Texas parks and pools are packed with kids and their families looking for some fun in the sun. Lufkin parks are inspected weekly for safety problems and some pools in Angelina County have as many as four lifeguards on duty at a time, but there are many hidden dangers in recreational areas parents need to be aware of.
Douglas McCoy, Diboll Public Works Director, said, "They should stay away from public utilities such as power lines, distribution lines, sewer lines, wastewater treatment plants [and] some of the other public utilities such as highways. Highway 59 travels through town and there's over 30,000 cars a day that commute through Diboll."
Even if lifeguards and other adults are around, parks and recreation authorities recommend you stay with your children, especially in places where they could easily get hurt.
"There's always strangers around and you always have to look out for maybe pedophiles, you just never know," said Lufkin resident Betsy Dominguez. "You always have to be there to protect your kids. You can never be too cautious - just because there's other adults around doesn't mean they're always a hundred percent [reliable] because they're worried about their own children, not yours."
No parent can keep an eye on their child 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but it's a good idea to keep tabs on where they might be. The public pool in Diboll hasn't even been open a full week, but there have already been a couple close calls.
"One thing we recently installed on this swimming pool is warning signs," McCoy said. "We have in the past caught children that actually slipped into the pool when we didn't have lifeguards on duty during non-business hours, and that can be very dangerous."