Society

Siblings Drown During Breath-Holding Competition

| by Jonathan Wolfe

An innocent contest between siblings to see who could hold their breath underwater the longest turned fatal in Texas on Sunday.

Police say the children, ages six and four, were playing in roughly three feet of water when they challenged each other to the competition. Another child living with the siblings soon noticed the kids had not been seen for several minutes and went looking for them. Both kids were unconscious by the time they were found and were pronounced dead soon after.

Captain Roland Waits of the Georgetown Police Department says the siblings’ foster parents were about 50 feet away from the kids when the drowning took place. Waits says the police department does not expect to file any criminal charges against the parents, though they are currently under investigation by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The drowning led Jess Raines of the water safety awareness group Colin's Hope to remind people how important water safety is – especially when children are involved.

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"We really want people to change their behavior around the water,” Raines told My Fox Austin. “Things like constant adult supervision with a water guardian and wearing life jackets.”

Roughly 390 kids ages 0-14 die every year from drowning. According to Poolsafely.gov, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death in children ages 0-4. 

Sources: My Fox Austin, Pool Safely