3 tips to keep your children safe around the pool this summer

Experts estimate that 200 young children will drown in swimming pools each year. In Harris County, more than 20 drownings have occurred in 2019 alone.

Before you head out for fun in the sun this summer, make sure you know how to keep your family safe at the pool.

How much time does it take to drown? In the time it takes to...
  • Cross a room for a towel (10 seconds), a child in a bathtub can be submerged.
  • Answer the phone (2 minutes), a child can lose consciousness.
  • Sign for a package at the front door (4-6 minutes), a child submerged in a tub or pool can sustain permanent brain damage.

The YMCA of Greater Houston is trying to do their part in helping every child learn how to swim and sharing these three tips every parent needs to know if you're coaching your child on your own.

Teach your child how to float on their backs.

"It's a real simple thing. Allow them to float on their back and feel comfortable. A lot of children don't like water in their ears. Get them comfortable because a fear of the water is not helping," said Association Director of Aquatics at the YMCA Chris Bradford.

Don't let your child rely on floaties. Teach them to swim.
Bradford says floaties give your children a false sense security.
"When you're teaching lessons, the biggest thing is body position. Flotation device don't allow you to teach that. Floaties do not help your child progress and they do not help your child learn how to swim," said Bradford.

Get your kids comfortable with going underwater so they don't panic.

Bradford says think of swimming as teaching your child to walk.

"They would step form Point A to Point B, two steps. It's the same thing when you get someone in the water with you and push the child back and forth. A couple strokes of progression is the same thing as a couple steps. They are gonna fall, they are going to go under and you have to feel comfortable with that and make sure your child is comfortable with that too," said Bradford.

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Before you head to the pool this summer, check out these pool safety tips.

Is your family ready for the pool? Take this quick safety quiz first.

You can find free swim classes in Houston here.

In Montgomery County, you can also sign up your family for a water safety event.

S.P.L.A.S.H. Day will be held on Wednesday, July 31 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Emler Swim School of The Woodlands. That's located at 27822 Interstate 45 North, Oak Ridge North, Texas 77385.

Activities will include a free, 30-minute water safety swim lesson.
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