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Pool opening highlights water safety
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
Memorial Day weekend means pools across Southeast Texas are opening. Saturday, dozens of kids jumped into Magnolia Pool in Beaumont for the unofficial start of summer.
"They have a blast, good way to kind of help them kick off summer," Curtis Holland said.
"Oh, it's wonderful. I'm excited, I'm excited. I get some water, get to have fun, wear the kids out," Jackie Gantt said.
While the water offers plenty of fun, it can also be dangerous.
According to the Department of Family Protective Services, more than 80 children drowned in Texas last year between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
"Fun can turn tragic if we don't watch and be careful," pool manager Kirvis Fontenot said. "We just want to have a place for the kids to come and have a good time and be safe."
The lifeguards work to keep children in the pool from becoming a part of the statistic.
"We want parents to let their kids know to follow the rules at the pool and listen to the lifeguard," Fontenot said.
While the lifeguards have their eyes on the kids, Fontenot said it's still important parents pay attention.
"There's no one that's gonna watch your child like you're gonna watch your child," Fontenot said.
The Texas Department of Family Protective Services offers some additional water safety tips:
Inside the house
Never leave small children alone near any container of water.
Keep bathroom doors closed and secure toilet lids with lid locks.
Never leave a baby alone in a bath for any reason. Get the things you need before running water, and take the child with you if you must leave the room.
Warn babysitters or caregivers about the dangers of water and stress the need to constantly supervise young children.
Make sure small children cannot leave the house through pet doors or unlocked doors and reach pools or hot tubs.
Outside the house
Never leave children alone around water whether it's in a pool, wading pool, drainage ditch, creek, pond, or lake.
Constantly watch children who are swimming or playing in water. They need an adult or certified lifeguard watching and within reach.
Secure access to swimming pools with fences, self-closing and latching gates, and water surface alarms.
Completely remove the pool cover when the pool is in use.
Store water toys away from the water, when not in use, so they don't attract a small child.
Dont assume young children will use good judgment around water.
Be ready for emergencies. Keep emergency telephone numbers handy and learn CPR.
Find out if your child's friends or neighbors have pools.