AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department tweeted out an announcement about a special addition coming to city pools this summer.
Although a pool full of sparkling water sounds fun, it was Austin PARD's way of having a good April Fools laugh. As temperatures continue to heat up, more Austinites are heading to the pool, and Austin PARD wants to bring awareness to water safety and drowning prevention. The link attached to the tricky tweet brings viewers to statistics of drowning incidents in Texas, and some water safety resources.
Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) responded to 63 drowning incidents in 2021. ATCEMS partnered with Austin Public Health in 2019 to review six years of ATCEMS emergency responses to drownings and found that 70% of them occur in the summer, 80% of drownings occur in pools, and 69% are children between one and four-years-old. Just 28% of drownings receive CPR from a bystander prior to EMS arriving. The city offers free CPR classes for all ages at 512-972-SAFE (7233) or EMSPubEd@austintexas.gov.
Texas loses one person per day to unintentional drowning, according to the CDC. That adds up to more than 5,000 Texans who died by drowning between the years 2006-2020. Already in 2022, the state has lost nine children and several adults in fatal drownings in pools, bathtubs, buckets and in open water.
The city notes that drowning does not discriminate- it affects people of any age, race, gender, socioeconomic level and swimming ability.
In an effort to decrease these statistics, the City of Austin, Travis County, Colin's Hope and the Central Texas Drowning Prevention Action Team are working together to hold an April Pool's Day Conference on Wednesday, April 6.
The conference will be held at Batholomew Pool and will feature press conference speakers and discussions on water safety and drowning prevention.
The City of Austin is offering swim lessons on April 11 at 8 a.m. for Austin residents, and at 10 a.m. for non-residents. To register for swim lessons, click here.
City of Austin facing lifeguard, city worker shortages going into summer
Austin Kite Fest returns to Zilker Park on Sunday, April 3
Austin YMCA looking to hire 400 lifeguards, swim instructors, camp counselors for summer
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