AUSTIN (KXAN) — A central Texas mother is raising awareness about the importance of pool safety.
The three-year-old son of country music star Granger Smith accidentally drowned in the family’s pool last year.
His wife Amber has teamed up with Dell Children’s Medical Center as part of the hospital’s new Drowning Prevention and Water Safety program.
Last year, Dell Children’s saw a record number of 47 near-drownings involving children and six drownings.
Their new program works to educate families on water safety and seeks out prevention strategies for the community.
“We thought we took all the precautions, we moved into our home, we installed a four-foot-four sided gate with a lock and our three-year-old still somehow managed to get through the gate and drown in our backyard pool.”
Smith is also working on a petition for “River’s Law.”
It would require homeowners to install a four-foot, four-sided, self-latching gate with a pool alarm — and it would force pool builders to include those in their bids for new pools.
She needs 100,000 signatures by May 25 for legislative consideration. So far, they’ve collected nearly 6,500.
Dell Children’s says that drowning is the leading cause of death from an unintentional injury among children ages 1 to 4 years old. The hospital offers these tips:
- Avoid distractions like phones when children are swimming or near water
- Teach children to swim and also know how to swim yourself
- Make sure kids wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
Additionally, Dell Children’s says kids should learn these five essential water safety skills:
- Step or jump into water over one’s head and return to the surface
- Tread water for one minute
- Turn around in a full circle and find an exit from the pool
- Swim 25 yards to exit the water
- Be able to exit the water. If in a pool, exit without using the ladder