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Borderland coalition offers water safety tips to prevent summertime drownings

EL PASO, Texas -- Summer is just around the corner and there's no better way to beat the heat than going for a dip in the water - whether it be Ascarte Lake, floating down the Rio Grande, or just in your backyard pool.

Getting back in the water comes with some reminders from the Drowning Prevention Coalition of El Paso on how to respect the water.

"The number one safety precaution for your kids is to get them swimming lessons. And to get those swimming lessons very early, specifically by the third grade," explained Chandra Edwards-Cottingham, co-owner of Wet 'N' Wild Water World.

The coalition partners represent many organizations across the Borderland, including businesses like water parks. According to the organization, since the start of 2021 there have been 16 fatal drownings of children under the age of 18 in Texas. One of those was a 3-year-old girl who tragically lost her life in her backyard pool in El Paso.

Parent Narine Rodriguez said she wants to make it a point to teach her children how to swim to prevent such deadly tragedies.

"Water is very dangerous at any level, even an inch of water. So my kids don't go in water unattended or without me. But we are encouraging them to take swimming classes after football." she told ABC-7.

Water safety goes beyond the backyard. River water is expected to start flowing south at the end of the month.

"Respect the water. Make sure they have their kids in life jackets. Make sure they're not out there drinking because that causes a lot of problems," said Ray Spears, a game warden with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Here are some tips to help navigate the summer season near the water...

  • Constant supervision of children in and around all water including pools, fountains, ponds, buckets, bathtubs, toilets, ice chests, hot tubs, and when visiting motel/hotel pools.
  • Learn to swim
  • Learn CPR
  • Use multiple layers of protection. Fencing, locked gates, pool alarms, and alarms on doors.
Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Andres Valle


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