Today is the first official day of summer, and when the weather in North Texas heats up, many of us run to our favorite water activity to cool off.
The summer months can also bring a deadly reminder for dozens of families across the state of Texas about the reality of water safety and child drownings.
According to Help For Parents, Hope For Kids, there have already been 45 drowning deaths in Texas. In 2018, 87 percent of the drownings were of children 9-years-old and under.
Tarrant County has the highest number at seven drowning deaths.
Instructors at the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth are hoping to reverse the trend, joining locations across the country in “The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson."
Last year more than 40,000 American children and adults participated in the free lessons.
“After children ages one to four have had formal swim lessons, they are 88 percent less likely to drown,” said Jaquelyne Kotar, an Aquatics Specialist at the YMCA. “First and foremost, get your kids into formal swim lessons. The more familiar they are in the water, the more they’re going to be able to overcome those situations when they get scared or in trouble because they are familiar and they know what to do."
YMCA instructors will also give parents coupons for future lessons. To see a list of all of the participating locations, click here.