HOUSTON, TX – This is an alert for summer swimmers. Young African-American kids are more likely to drown in swimming pools, alarmingly, at a rate of 5 times that of white kids. That’s what a centers for disease control report says.
“It’s really sad that most of the drownings will occur in apartment complexes and places like that where children swim unsupervised, and so unfortunately, that leads to some of the disparity,” according to Tracy Laman of Houston Swim Club in Katy.
“We gotta get it on our own, we gotta go to a pool we don’t know about and learn how to swim on our own,” said Jay Jones, a African-American Houstonian.
Experts believe it stems from cultural differences. More Caucasian families spend time at pools and beaches, and offer swim lessons for their kids.
“Texas leads the nation in drowning’s and the Houston area accounts for 30% of those drowning’s,” said Laman.
At Houston Swim Club, kids from 4-months-old are taught the basics of swimming.
“We want your children to be safer in the water so that they know what to do in case they were to ever get into trouble,” explained Laman
“Last summer we didn’t ever go to the pool because I knew my kids couldn’t swim so we just couldn’t go, so now this summer it will be a lot different,” said Katie McCarthy, a mother of two young children learning how to swim.
Here are some key safety points to remember if you own a pool:
- Put a fence around your pool.
- Make sure that the gate locks.
- Make sure that the toys are kept away from the pool.
- All parents should know CPR.
- Keep a phone by your pool.
- And of course make sure your kids know how to swim.
Kids having fun and chillin’ in the water should never turn into a drowning tragedy.