Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Drownings on the rise – FREE resources available in Dallas-Fort Worth!

by Sydney Holt, volunteer contributor

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With the Dallas-Fort Worth region still experiencing major droughts, your lake plans and annual safety preparations may have fallen to the wayside, but here’s why they shouldn’t. Believe it or not, drownings are on the rise this summer!

While drownings are the #1 cause of death for kids five and under, it’s important to remember that water does not discriminate. Take a minute to review these FREE and low-cost local resources so you can relax and enjoy some fun in the sun this season. 

  • Assessments – Seems simple enough but don’t just learn to swim, be a confident swimmer. Your local YMCA offers free Swim Assessments to assess swimming ability. Times and locations vary – see here.
  • Activities – Grab a group of your neighbors and take a walk around your community identifying any potential threats for drownings. Identify creeks and other bodies of water nearby, pools without safety fences, empty and turn over and large containers or buckets of water, and talk to your unexperienced swimmers about the importance of only swimming with an adult present. It’s a free activity, and more importantly another touch point to talk to your kids about water safety!
  • App – Yes, there’s an App for that! The free Red Cross Swim App will help you keep your swimmer motivated, while providing you the latest in water safety guidance to help ensure your family stays safe in, on and around the water. Download it directly from the iTunes, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace app stores.
  • Accountability – Many celebrations take place with family and friends during the summer months, and while adults are present it’s important to designate who will be responsible for supervising swimmers at all times. Another option is to contact a local community pool and ask if they have any certified lifeguards available for hire – a small price to pay for safety.
  • Act – If you are sending your inexperienced swimmer with an older sibling or babysitter, remind them of any safety devices needed such as floaties or a life jacket. Also remind them that if any accident should occur don’t be afraid to seek help for fear of getting in trouble – Every second counts, call 9-1-1 immediately and ask an adult for help!

Remember, the Red Cross offers a number of swim classes for all levels. Check out to find one near you.


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