Cook Children's Mourns Loss of Toddlers, Advocates Awareness

Three drownings happened between July 12-18

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's swimming season and Texas ranks first in the country for childhood drownings. There were three deaths at Fort Worth's Cook Children's Medical Center. Now, emergency staff members are teaching prevention. (Published Thursday, Jul 24, 2014)

    It is well known across Texas that the state leads the nation in childhood drownings. Tarrant County is one of the top counties in the state for such pediatric deaths.

    Those who know the pain and grief families suffer in such tragedies want to change that after witnessing three deaths in the last week and a half.
    Staff in Cook Children's Medical Center's emergency department say they've seen three young children die between July 12-18, ages two to four.
    "The devastation for these families is immeasurable," said Dr. Kimberly Aaron, Cook Children's medical director emergency services. "There's no way to even begin to comprehend the impact that this is having on families."
    The three families impacted had the drownings happen in backyard swimming pools and the staff certainly shared in their grief when the children didn't pull through.
    "Last week was quite tough on the team, " Aaron said.
    Aaron says that while her staff often deals with such tragic ends, these deaths particularly stay with them in part because they can be avoided.
    "These deaths are preventable and, importantly, they can happen to anyone," Aaron said.
    The emergency staff hopes to prevent more deaths like these from happening by trying to raise awareness and educate parents about some of the little things they can do to prevent such tragedies.
    Dana Walraven is the community health outreach manager for the hospital, she says life vests, water alarm bracelets and things like water watcher cards to remind parents kids are in the pool could easily save a life.
    "We want parents to prepare for back-to-pool as much as they do for back-to-school," Walraven said. "The big piece there is the more layers of protection you put into place, the safer the child."
    For the adults who see the worst come through the emergency department doors that's what they want, too, for families to take precaution so that no one else has to deal with these tragic losses.
    "It seems like these things often come in waves, and it's like when is it going to stop and prevention is the key," said Cameron Brown, a hospital chaplain.
    And prevention is what the hospital hopes comes out of these latest tragedies.
    Experts say it takes just two seconds to turn your back for a child to get into trouble and that drownings are silent. 
    For more information on drowning prevention click here.