SAN ANTONIO -

Several groups have banded together, forming a coalition called WATCH, or Water Awareness Through Community Help.

“Just by watching your child at the pool or in the river or lake, we can make a difference and save a child’s life,” said Kathrine Ratliff, of Any Baby Can.

The coalition was formed after the local Child Fatality Review Team, made up of advocacy groups, hospitals and first responders, examined some alarming statistics.

In the past five years, 22 children drowned in Bexar County.

“There is nothing that makes a paramedic or firefighter more angry than working on a lifeless child that has been pulled out of the bottom of a pool,” said San Antonio fire Chief Charles Hood.

Hood joined other coalition members in urging parents to avoid distractions, such as phone use or visiting with friends, when taking their children swimming.

Their message, the group says, is simple: Pay attention.

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