53 drownings in Texas already this year

53 drownings in Texas already this year

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

If you plan to spend time at the pool or lake through the rest of this hot summer, safety needs to be your top priority.

53 kids have drowned in Texas just this year. Fortunately none have been on the South Plains. 

"Make sure you check for the life jackets and required equipment on the boat but also very important on a very busy holiday week, designate a sober operator," said Aaron Sims, a Game Warden for Texas Parks and Wildlife. "That's the number one thing people can do besides a life jacket that will keep them safe out there."

Just because you have a life jacket on does not mean it will work. Sims said it needs to be the right size.

"Any time you're around the water, especially with your kids, even if they have their life jacket on," Sims said. "We've seen instances if they did have it maybe it wasn't properly sized. They go into the water, they drop straight down and the life jacket is left floating on top of the water. So make sure they're properly sized and swim aids don't count. They have to be US Coast Guard approved life jackets for the individuals."

If you are caught not having one on your child, the State is going to hit your wallet.

"If we see that it's going to be no tolerance. You're looking at a citation of up to $500 per instance."

It is not just large bodies of water you have to be careful at though. More kids have died in pools than anywhere else this year.

"If you know your child cannot swim, always have them in some type of flotation device," said Chris Gonzales, Aquatics Director at YWCA. "I would recommend something that's Coast Guard certified but always have them in a life jacket if they cannot swim."

Gonzales said even then it is critical you keep an eye on your child regardless if there are life guards on duty.

"We probably have about 12 to 14 guards up at a time and there's days where we might be watching 300 people in the water and so it's critical that even though we've got those guards on stand, you as a parent should always be watching your child," he said. 

He said some less serious tips to keep in mind, stay hydrated, put on lots of sun screen, walk slowly on wet surfaces and have fun.

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