A Heartfelt Call To End Drownings By A Local Swimmer
Alright, I’ve offically had it. Nearly 30 drowning deaths in Texas without even being the month of June leaves me speechless because of how unacceptable and preventable nearly ALL of these deaths are. These drownings are more of then than not with children under 7. The reason? Children are not being taught how to swim and parents have INADEQUATE and completely FALSE information.
First things first, drowning is a COMPLETELY SILENT DEATH. It doesn’t matter how much you teach your children to yell for help. Parents, if you are with your kids at the pool or ANY body of water for that matter, NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THEM. Even for a second. And if your kids don’t know how to swim, either do not take them swimming or make sure they have PROPER KNOWLEDGE. Another fact is that “floaties” are DEATH TRAPS. ONLY USE COASTGUARD APPROVED FLOATATION DEVICES. But your best bet is making sure your children can swim, or save themselves at the bare minimum.
Second, I have had it with these “swim lessons” I’ve seen take place before at my community pool, etc. There is SO MUCH false information being taught. There are too many unqualified coaches who are clearly just in this for easy money. This leaves me absolutely speechless. We NEED to implement a process to where there must be rigorous certification for somebody to be able to give children swim lessons. And we need to build more pools in Tarrant County for YEAR ROUND EDUCATION. A child will not learn to swim in 2 days, and those programs that take place over a day are complete joke and provide completely false training and information (I’ve experienced this firsthand)
I completely understand not all of these deaths are preventable. There have been cases where experienced swimmers like myself have unexpectedly drowned and that is heartbreaking, but this is quite rare and barely makes up a fraction of these deaths. In conclusion, we need to put swim lessons and water education IN TEXAS SCHOOLS. We need to have certification for swim lessons and educate our parents and swimmers.
The author, Madison Huertas, is a Fort Worth ISD student and swims for Sigma Swimming in Fort Worth.
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