Austin, Texas – (June 13, 2017) – This week marks the 9th anniversary of the tragic drowning of 4 year old Colin Holst in a public, lifeguarded pool in South Austin. The organization formed in his honor, Colin’s Hope, is making huge impacts in drowning prevention and will continue to do so as the temperatures heat up and families take to the water to cool off and have some fun. Tragically, Texas has already lost 40 children to fatal drownings this year. We MUST talk about water safety and prevent these drownings.
“The summer is here and families are heading to pools, backyard pool parties, lakes and beaches to beat the heat, we would like to remind everyone that no one is drown proof and simple behavior changes around water for both children and adults can save lives,” said Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of Colin’s Hope. “In 2016 there were 107 fatal child drownings in Texas – that’s 107 too many and a 43% increase from 2015! NOW is the perfect opportunity to give Central Texans simple reminders as to how they can keep their families safer around water. “
This year Colin’s Hope will continue to educate children and families about water safety through the distribution of 75,000 water safety education cards and water guardian badges. Colin’s Hope, in collaboration with the YMCA of Austin and local school districts, and with generous grants from the Retta Kelly Swim Safe Fund at the Austin American-Statesman, Swimability and the LGR Foundation, will be able to provide their preschool swim safety program to even more low income 4 year olds. This program has been proven to be effective at both raising children’s water safety knowledge and increasing their swimming skills. We know that this program will save lives and are so pleased to be expanding the program, thanks to our community supporters.
Nationwide, drowning is the number 1 cause of unintentional injury related death for children under 5 and the second leading cause for ages 1-14, but drowning is preventable.
Colin’s Hope offers the following tips to keep families safer:
- WATCH kids around water and keep them in arm’s reach – Always appoint an undistracted adult to watch children in the pool, spa and open bodies of water at all times.
- Teach swimming and lifesaving skills – Make sure children know how to swim, float, and get in and out of the water safely. Learn CPR and know how to recognize a swimmer in trouble.
- Wear Life Jackets – Always Wear US Coast Guard approved life jackets when in or around open water, including on docks and boats.
- Install barriers – Backyard pools should be fenced on all sides with four to five-foot-high fence. Gates should be self-latching and locking. Spas and hot tubs should be covered and locked when not in use.
We challenge all Texans to visit www.colinshope.org to learn more water safety tips and to become Water Guardians by TAKING AND SHARING the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Quiz.
About Colin’s Hope:
Colin’s Hope, a local nonprofit, formed in 2008 after 4 year old Colin Holst tragically drowned in a public pool in South Austin, with lifeguards on duty and family members present. Our mission is to raise water safety awareness to prevent children from drowning. Drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14. While no-one is drown proof, drowning IS preventable.
We are a very passionate organization with a small staff (2), a dedicated Board of Directors and a committed team of 4000+ community volunteers and strategic partners—sharing a vision of a world where no child drowns.
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