(credit: Joel Thomas/KTVT)

(credit: Joel Thomas/KTVT)

TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Memorial Day and swimming pools often go hand-in-hand and unfortunately so do drowning deaths.

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To help combat the problem the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth has launched a new swim-safety training program. “Our goal now is to take this out to educate parents and caregivers, as well as the children themselves, to give them basic skills,” said the YMCA’s Jean Carmichael.

The pool safety program doesn’t teach swimming lessons, but trains adults and children on how not to panic and to feel comfortable in water.

Tarrant County ranks number two in the state for the number of child drowning deaths. Carmichael said North Texas resources contribute to that high number. “A lot of it has to do with how many backyard pools we have. There are a lot of drownings that happen in backyard pools. We [North Texas] also have a lot of water front, The Trinity [and] we have lakes.”

Now that the YMCA has joined the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition their first safety push, as always, is education. “The best defense is learning how to swim and there is no question about that. So we do, and always have, offered swim lessons.”

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Parents are also getting swim safety training. One of their first lessons – ‘two seconds is too long to turn your back on a child in the water.’

The first safety training series will take place in the Woodland Springs area, in northern Tarrant County. Carmichael said the location was chosen for a specific reason. “We picked that area… because some 60-percent of the homeowners up there have pools and last summer they had a fatal drowning and two near drownings.”

Texas leads the nation in swimming pool drowning deaths.

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