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2009-07-09 digital edition

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2009-07-09 / General Stories

30 Texas Children Drowned in June

2009 Hits 60

Thirty Texas children, most of them toddlers, drowned in June, the worst month for child drownings since the state's annual count began in 2005. The majority of the deaths occurred in swimming pools at private homes, and as the Fourth of July weekend approaches Texans are urged to watch their children closely around water.

So far in 2009, 60 children in Texas, including six in Central Texas, have drowned according to the count by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

"If you can't see a child, you can't save a child," said Sasha Rasco, DFPS assistant commissioner for Child Care Licensing. "Children should never be left unsupervised for any length of time in or around water, because the results can be devastating."

The June drowning deaths include two Central Texas children:

• On June 4, a 16-year-old boy drowned in Lake Georgetown where he was swimming with friends.

• On June 11 in Austin, a fouryear old girl drowned in an apartment complex swimming pool. She was there with three adults and two other children, none of whom saw or heard her fall into the pool.

Among the deaths elsewhere in the state:

• A four-year-old girl drowned June 6 in Harris County. She was attending a birthday party with her parents.

• A two-year-old girl drowned June 7 in a backyard pool in Collin County.

• In Andrews, a three-year-old boy drowned June 8 in the family pool.

• A two-year-old boy drowned June 11 at an apartment pool in Fort Bend County.

• On June 13, in San Antonio, an eight-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool. At the time, he was playing with several other children.

• In Ellis County, a 19-monthold boy drowned June 15 in a backyard pool.

• On June 15 in Navarro County, a two-year-old girl drowned in a backyard pool.

• In Laredo, an 11-year-old boy and his 13-year-old brother both drowned in a backyard swimming pool. One boy died June 16, the other a day later.

• A two-year-old boy drowned June 17 in the backyard pool at his home in Harris County after he slipped out the back door.

• In Galveston County, a oneyear old boy drowned June 18 in the backyard pool of his home.

• A 15-month-old boy drowned June 26 in Houston after he climbed onto the deck surrounding an above-ground pool and fell in. His family was visiting relatives from out of town.

• A six-year-old boy drowned June 26 in a swimming pool in Dallas.

• In El Paso, a two-year-old girl drowned June 26 in a small portable pool filled with two feet of water. She was unsupervised.

On average, 70 children have drowned each year since DFPS began tracking the deaths in 2005. DFPS identified 66 drowning deaths in 2005, 70 in 2006, and 63 in 2007.

In 2008, 82 children drowned in Texas, the highest annual total, but we are unfortunately on pace to surpass that total this year.

Federal statistics show that children under one year old most often drown in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets, while children from one to four years old drown most often in residential swimming pools.

Most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time.

For more information about children and water safety, please visit the "See and Save" website at www.seeandsave.org.

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