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Fort Worth Organizations Team Up To Raise Awareness About Drowning

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A rash of drownings has The City of Fort Worth teaming with charities, the YMCA and Cook Children's to stem the tide. The city has had 36 near-death drownings in the last seven weeks. The coalition will start a wide-spread program of education, swimming courses and emergency resuscitation instruction.

"I'm right here," Leide Budy said from the water as she coaxed her 4-year-old son to jump into the water and swim to her.

"We have to keep our eyes on him the whole time," she said.

Buty has seen a child nearly drown while a parent's attention was elsewhere.

"You know, we've had to go in and jump in after the child and just pull them out," Buty said "It happens very fast."

A new safety awareness program is reminding parents being at the pool with your kids and protecting them at the pool are two different things.

Cell phones, for instance, are a major distraction pool side.

"You feel that you're only on your cellphone for a few minutes and then you wind up looking down and you've actually been on your cell phone for 30 minutes," said Denise Doherty, the Director of Emergency Service for Cook Children's. "And what's just happened to your child in those 30 minutes?"

Cook Children's Hospital is asking people to make their message their profile picture on social media.

One-hundred percent supervision, it reads, no distractions. It also reminds parents to have swimmers take breaks after fifteen minutes or rotate who is watching swimmers to keep attention sharp.

A message Buty thinks might get a person's eyes off the phone and back on the water.

"Yes, I like the fact that it's 100 percent supervision so that nobody should be on their phones," she said. "I mean even talking to your friends at the pool can be a distraction. Your kids can get in the water and you don't even know."

Fort Worth Firefighters Charities is taking on a much more low-tech, labor intensive effort to get the message out. It plans on posting reminder signs at every community pool in the city.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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