FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Community pools start opening this weekend, after what’s already been a deadly spring for children in the water.
Twenty-eight children have already died in drownings in Texas this year. The next three months, Memorial Day through Labor Day, are often when hospitals see the most victims.
Families of drowning victims met together at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth Friday, trying to warn the community about a preventable death that often happens with no warning.
“We went to the lake every weekend, in the summers, and yet he died in a lake,” Dana Gage said, telling the story of her 15-year-old son Connor, who jumped into a lake with friends and never came back up.
Jane Garner talked about how it happened with her son Jaylen in a backyard pool — on a day they were celebrating his second birthday.
“Somehow didn’t see him get in, but he got in, and it was a matter of minutes,” she said.
So far in 2018, Tarrant County leads the state with four child drownings, one behind last year’s total of five.
In 2017, Cook Children’s saw 55 drowning patients between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The hospital has seen seven this month — with one fatality.
“Life can change in a second,” Garner said. “It was a matter of seconds for my life to change”
Gage, who started the LV Project to prevent drownings after her son died, said overconfidence in kids abilities in the water, has to be overcome.
“100-percent,” she said. “That is the biggest problem.”
They’re stressing the use of life jackets in open water, phones down and all eyes on kids in the pool to prevent more deaths this summer.