NEW Life Jacket Loaner Station Installed at Lakeway City Park

The BRAND NEW Life Jacket Loaner Station at Lakeway City Park is OFFICIALLY stocked full of life jackets in all sizes! Thanks to some amazing community partners – Lakeway City Park, BeneFIT Bikram Yoga, O’Neill’s Pools, Stokes Sign Company, and all who supported this effort to get the loaner station up and running – there are now resources at the park to help keep children and families safer! Get down to the park, grab (& return) a life jacket and go for a swim!

Want to see how it works? Watch Alissa Magrum, Colin’s Hope Executive Director, talk about the station, and how EASY it is to use!

 

The opening of this life jacket loaner station is truly a Best Day Ever here at Colin’s Hope! Thank you KXAN News and KVUE  for highlighting this resource for families in our community.

O’Neill’s Pools Gathers Life Jackets for Area Loaner Stations

Colin’s Hope is excited to partner with O’Neill’s Pools as they gather life jackets for area loaner stations! Colin’s Hope works year-round to collect gently used life jackets of any size that can be placed at loaner stations for guests to use during their visits.

With 4th of July right around the corner, this is the perfect time to make sure your family’s life jackets still fit! If anyone has an ill-fitted jacket, or you are planning to get a new one, you can donate your gently used AND reusable jackets to O’Neill’s Pools in Lakeway in exchange for $5 off a new kid’s jacket.

Thank you, Amy and Neil!

How do I know if a life jacket fits properly?

Colin’s Hope uses 3 simple steps to make sure a US Coast Guard approved jacket fits well:

  • All of the buckles should close, usually with a audible “click”
  • It should be snug and tight (like a hug)
  • A jacket should stay on your chest when arms are lifted OR when someone tugs on the shoulders

Hamilton Pool needs ADULT life jackets!

Now that Hamilton Pool is open for the summer, guests are utilizing the brand new life jacket loaner station! This is GREAT news, but we can really use your help to get more adult life jackets out there. Thinking of buying a new life jacket? Drop off your gently used adult-sized life jacket at O’Neill’s Pools as soon as you can, and we will make sure to get it out to our partners at Hamilton Pool!

Thank  you, and have a BEST DAY EVER!

World’s Largest Swimming Lesson Held Across Central Texas

Colin’s Hope is proud to have participated in the 2017 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on Thursday, June 22! Thanks to many volunteers across the city, we were able to support not one, not two, but THREE events with our amazing partners. A Best Day Ever Thank You to Schlitterbahn – New Braunfels, SafeSplash Swim School – Anderson Mill, and The City of Lakeway for inviting us to share safety messages with their communities.

Additionally, a VERY SPECIAL Thank You to our media partners at FOX 7 Austin, CBS Austin – KEYEKVUE, Community Impact Newspaper, Waterways Magazine, and KXAN News! All of the media coverage we receive for these events helps us keep water safety and the importance of learning to swim in the forefront of people’s minds.

So far, Texas has lost at least 47 children to fatal drownings! We must do all we can to talk about water safety to prevent drowning. Check out all of the stories below for a great recap of The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, and listen for some great things we can all do to be safer near water!

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Colin’s Hope Issues Press Release in Honor of Colin Holst’s 9 Year Anniversary

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.

Contact:

Alissa Magrum

Colin’s Hope

(512) 222-7591

alissa.magrum@colinshope.org

Download this Press Release here

Colin’s Hope Provides Online Webinars For Greater Impact

Colin’s Hope is excited to begin hosting online webinars for greater impact across the state and nation! These “train the trainer” style webinars aim to teach various agencies and organizations HOW to teach water safety, WHAT tools to use, and WHY this information is crucial for children and families.

Thanks to all of you who attended our Using the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Information Card & Water Guardian Badge webinar! We are realizing that we can impact so many more people with our drowning prevention resources and messages by hosting these training sessions.

Visit our Webinars and Training page to find the video and audio files of our very first webinar, AND to see what we have coming up.

Colin’s Hope Issues Press Release and PSAs ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

TEXAS ALREADY LOSES 30 CHILDREN TO DROWNINGS THIS YEAR!
Memorial Day Weekend is Here, Help Us Keep Texas Families Safer.

Austin, Texas – (May 26, 2017) – May is Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Awareness Month, and Colin’s Hope is reminding the public about critical safety tips that can mean the difference between life and death. Tragically, Texas has already lost 30 children to fatal drownings this year. We MUST talk about water safety and prevent these drownings.

“As Memorial Day weekend is here and families start heading to the pools, backyard pool parties, lakes and  beaches to beat the summer heat, we would like to remind everyone of the importance of Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Month,” 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.”

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 a 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.

CHALLENGE: BECOME A WATER GUARDIAN

  • 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.

Our major programs/initiatives include:

  1. Creation and distribution of 75,000 bilingual Water Safety educational cards annually to families, preschools, pools, water parks, and youth based organizations.

  2. Sponsorship, and co-coordination of a preschool swim safety program for at-risk 4 year olds. This program includes swim lessons plus on land water safety education, and is conducted in partnership with the YMCA of Austin and local school districts. This program just received generous support from; The Statesman Retta Kelly Swim Safe Endowment Fund, Austin Community Foundation and Swimability.

  3. Global dissemination of water safety information through our online Water Safety Quiz, and our Water Safety Tips & Layers of Protection.

  4. We help stock life jacket loaner stations at local area lakes so that visitors can borrow and return a life jacket.

  5. We are a preeminent community resource for water safety and drowning prevention information for media, hospitals, parents, schools and community-based organizations. We serve in leadership roles on local, State and National water safety boards.

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.

Contact: 

Alissa Magrum

Colin’s Hope

(512) 294-3910

alissa.magrum@colinshope.org

Download this Press Release here

Download PSAs here

Colin’s Hope Water Safety PSA 1

Colin’s Hope Water Safety PSA 2

Life Jacket Loaner Station Installed at Hamilton Pool

We are excited to share this prevention win with you! Together with our amazing partners at Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council and Travis County Parks a brand new life jacket loaner station opened at Hamilton Pool Preserve and has been immediately utilized by visiting families! We couldn’t be happier to have received this news as these jackets are crucial to open water safety.

Timeline of events:

  • Summer 2016 – 3 drownings (2 fatal and 1 non-fatal) occur at Hamilton Pool Preserve
  • Travis County Parks closes Hamilton pool to swimming
  • Travis County Parks calls Colin’s Hope to help get a life jacket loaner station up and running at Hamilton Pool as well as Reimers Ranch Park
  • Colin’s Hope assists with important messaging on station signage
  • May 1, 2017 – Life Jacket Loaner Station opens and is ready for use!

We are thrilled to continue stocking these stations with life saving devices all year! Thank you to CATRAC for donating life jackets, and to Travis County Parks for putting these stations together. Drowning is preventable, and together we can make a ripple in water safety!

Check out this interview by KEYE-TV, our CBS News affiliate, conducted lakeside by the life jacket loaner station at Mansfield Dam Park with Colins’ Hope Executive Director Alissa Magrum! ***2 corrections: a) Colin’s Hope did not put up the loaner station, but we do keep them stocked. b) We only assist with stations in central Texas.

Order Your Water Safety Information Cards Today!

Colin’s Hope is excited to kick off our 2017 Make A Ripple Campaign by distributing 60,000 water safety information cards to families across Texas and the United States. With life-saving tips for safer behavior around water, a link to our water safety quiz, and a detachable Water Guardian Badge, these cards are one of our most valuable resources, with options for both English and Spanish speaking families.

Find us at one of our upcoming events to get your family’s FREE water safety information card, OR place a bulk order here.

For bulk orders, we kindly request that you make a $1 per card donation. We appreciate your support as these funds will help us sustain our water safety card program, ultimately allowing us to reach more children and families with life saving information.

Looking for a volunteer project? It takes a lot of hands to assemble 60,000 cards! Email Colin’s Hope Program Director Jessica at jessica.sosa@colinshope.org to set up your very own event. Projects are extremely flexible and can be done with any amount of volunteers, in almost any location.

Thank you for sharing our vision of a world where children do not drown.

Colin’s Hope Reminds You To Enjoy A SAFER Spring Break

Colin’s Hope Executive Director Alissa Magrum teamed up with FOX 7 Austin again to share some water safety tips for the upcoming Spring break holiday, and reminders of how YOU can do your part to keep your family safer around water.

Top tips:
1 – Designate an adult water guardian to constantly watch kids in and around water.
2 – Wear US Coast Guard approved life jackets instead inflatable arm floaties or toys.
3 – Talk to your family about your water safety plan.

A big Best Day Ever thank you to Safe Kids Austin for letting us carry this message far and wide. For more information on water safety, visit the Colin’s Hope Resource Hub and take our Water Safety Quiz today!

Water Safety Must Be A Year Round Conversation

Are you planning to travel this Holiday season? Water safety MUST be a year round conversation. This year, Texas has lost 104 children to fatal drowning. That is a 36% increase from 2015. THESE ARE PREVENTABLE. Colin’s Hope wants you to be safer around water this season. If you are going on trip, some things to keep in mind and be prepared for are:

  • Family or friend’s homes may have backyard pools.
  • Hotels typically have pools.
  • Does the beach or lake you are visiting have life guards?
  • Does your cruise ship have a pool or other water sources?
  • Do you have a water safety plan that includes appointing a water guardian?

For more water safety tips, visit the Colin’s Hope Water Safety hub. Please watch and share this short FOX 7 piece as you prepare for travel or time with family and friends throughout the Holiday season. Thank you to Safe Kids Austin and FOX 7 Austin for the opportunity to keep talking about drowning prevention. Happy Holidays from your Colin’s Hope family!