Winter Water Safety Tips From Colin’s Hope

Almost 30% of Texas children’s drownings happen during the colder months (October thru April). FOX 7 Austin‘s Dave Froehlich gives Alissa Magrum, Colin’s Hope Executive Director, the opportunity to speak to the need during a Safe Kids Austin spot.

Remember these simple tips as you pack for your holiday trips, and prepare for visitors:

  • Talk to your family to make a water safety plan.
  • Be mindful when you visit other people’s homes – How are their rules different than your own?
  • Keep your guard up.
  • Pay close attention and WATCH children around water, even when you’re not planning to swim.
  • Never leave a child unattended in bathtub, even for a few seconds.
  • Enroll in swim lessons and CPR training.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

The Colin’s Hope Team

Bill O’Melia of Drennan’s Dreams Presents to Aquatics Professionals

Colin’s Hope was proud to host Bill O’Melia of Drennan’s Dreams Foundation for a presentation to aquatics professionals in the greater Austin area.

Bill O’Melia, Drennan’s Dad and founder of Drennan’s Dreams, spoke about the important roll that aquatics managers should play in creating a culture of safety in each of their facilities. Catch a sneak peek below, and learn more about Drennan’s Dreams at

Colin’s Hope is honored to work with Drennan’s Dreams. Together with all of the Families United to Prevent Drowning members – we say #notonemore drowning and we will keep working to achieve this vision.

Traveling soon? Remember these simple water safety tips!

Traveling season is upon us! With Thanksgiving just around the corner many families are planning to visit family and friends or will be welcoming guests into their own homes.

Before you pack your bags or pull out the rollaway bed, take a few minutes to think about your family’s Water Safety Plan.

  1. Appoint an ADULT Water Guardian. Unfortunately, drowning can happen year round. New places are fascinating for everyone, especially young children. If you have a backyard pool or will near any kind of water (hot tub, lake, pond, river, etc.), please appoint an adult water guardian at all times – even if there are no plans to be near water.
  2. BLOCK access to water. Do you have a backyard pool? Do you have easy access to a pond or lake? Put barriers in your home to keep young children away from water.
  3. Share your water safety plan. Make sure your family and guests know your safety plan! Display a safety sign around your home, and take some time to share the plan with your guests. Going somewhere fun for a few days? Put your plan together upon arrival to help your family be safer near water!

Just a few simple changes in behavior can create a safer culture around water. Learn more at and take our Water Safety Quiz at today!

Safe travels wherever you may go, and best wishes for a safer break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Colin’s Hope Presents in Legislative Briefing at Texas Capitol

Colin’s Hope Executive Director presents at legislative briefing on October 18.

On October 18, 2018 the Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance hosted a legislative briefing to begin engaging and educating legislators and staffers around water safety and drowning prevention.

Colin’s Hope is proud to work along side these amazing water safety professionals, and will continue to educate our community and decision-makers about the importance of water safety programs. “With your help, drowning is 100% preventable,” said Colin’s Hope founder and father of Colin Holst.

Thank you to the Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance for encouraging this community to work together. We know our messages will reach more children and families because of organizations like this.




At least 73 fatal drownings of Texas children, and 5 adults in Lake Travis alone, this year highlight the need for all Texans to be safer around water. Sadly, we also saw the drowning of Olympic skier Bode Miller’s daughter, Emmy in June and have lost Central Texas children and adults to drownings in all kinds of water from bathtubs to pools to open water.  It is estimated that 5x as many children survive a non-fatal drowning. We must END drowning.

Colin’s Hope is an Austin-based nonprofit with global reach formed a decade ago by Colin Holst’s family after Colin’s tragic drowning in a South Austin public life guarded swimming pool in 2008, and aims to END drowning in Central Texas.   They have enlisted young athletes and their families to help.

This Sunday, August 26, 400 young athletes ages 5-15 will swim, bike and run to honor Colin’s memory and the many other children lost to fatal drownings. The children will raise awareness and funds for Colin’s Hope. Many of the kids choose to “tri” for a particular child lost to a fatal drowning or for one who has survived a non-fatal drowning. The first wave of athletes (the Rookies age 5-6) will start the race, with the elite racers next, followed by the Juniors (ages 7-10) and Seniors (ages 11-15). They will swim then bike then run. All athletes receive a medal as they cross the finish line. There will be multiple families at the triathlon who have lost their children to drowning, as well as kids racing who have lost their sibling to a drowning. THIS IS MORE THAN JUST A RACE.

Race details here:

Colin’s parents, Jeff and Jana Holst, describe their motivation: “After Colin’s death, we learned our tragedy is the tragedy of many other families. Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under five and a leading cause of death for ages 1-14, BUT IT IS PREVENTABLE. Many people do not know that drowning is fast, silent and preventable or that nobody is drown proof. We are on a mission to get people talking about water safety and are asking them to BECOME A WATER GUARDIAN.”  Colin’s Hope has an online water safety quiz , a proven water safety educational program and resources to help keep children and families safer around water.

Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of Colin’s Hope added, “As we begin a new school year, imagine 2 empty school busses pull up to a school. The seats on those busses should have been filled with the Texas children who lost their lives to a drowning this year. 10 more full school busses pull up. These are all the children who survived a non-fatal drowning this year. It is unbearable to think about, as drowning is preventable. We will continue working 365 days a year to end drowning.  Our amazing group of young triathletes have been training all summer and are ready to cross the finish line having helped to save lives.”

This year’s triathlon is sponsored by the following generous organizations: Nitro Swimming, Bicycle Sport Shop, State Farm – Ben Archer, Mosquito Authority, The YMCA of Austin, Hamlin Home Team, Baylor, Scott and White, Hill Country Indoor, Learning Express, Greater Goods Roasting, Nada Moo, Clif Bar, Vistago Print, Lake Travis ISD, Lake Pointe Community Center

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Alissa Magrum, Executive Director, Colin’s Hope Cell: 512-294-3910 Email:

Student Athletes Raise Awareness For Drowning Prevention to Support Colin’s Hope

Colin’s Hope has worked tirelessly this summer to prevent children from drowning. Along side this organization? Amazing student athletes who committed to going above and beyond to share important water safety messages as far as humanly possible. Check out these rock stars below, and help us send them a huge BEST THANK YOU EVER!


The Hanley Family are long time Colin’s Hope and drowning prevention supporters! Though Talia has been involved with awareness events for years, she was thrilled to dive deeper into the water safety world and we are so glad to have her! Working as an independent water safety warrior, Talia took on a mission of raising critical funds for drowning prevention, ultimately increasing water safety awareness in hundreds of caregivers and children. Thank you, Talia! We can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!


This past June the Veterans Memorial High School Eagle Swimming and Diving Team hosted their 2nd Annual Swim Raiser for Colin’s Hope, raising over $3,000! You can read more about their team and support their efforts by making a pledge at this link: Go Team VMHS Swimmers!


Earlier this summer, the Blue Wave Swim Team crushed their $2,000 swim raiser goal to raise $3,000 for water safety awareness! A special thank you to Coach Huddie Murray for encouraging her athletes to support this life saving mission! You can read more about the team here:

Colin’s Hope cannot thank of each of these amazing volunteers enough! Because of you, we are making a difference in new communities. Thank you for rocking it this summer!

Colin’s Hope Encourages Use Of USCG Approved Life Jackets

As National Water Safety Month continues, Colin’s Hope remains busy with all hands on deck to share drowning prevention messages far and wide. The next tip? Wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.

Last week, Colin’s Hope challenged you to take our water safety quiz and BE A WATER GUARDIAN. This week we DARE YOU TO WEAR ONE — a life jacket that is. At least 20 Texas children have lost their lives to a fatal drowning. OVER 50% of those injuries have occurred in open water (beach, lake, pond, etc.). That’s why we dare you to wear one. Check out this PSA and then 1) Put on a properly fitted AND buckled US Coast Guard Approved life jacket, 2) Take a picture of you in the jacket doing a non water related activity, and 3) Post the picture to your social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter using the hashtag #Dare2WearOne Let everyone know that life jackets are cool AND they save lives! National Injury Prevention Council Families United to Prevent Drowning The LV Project Christopher R. Gregoire Scholarship & Memorial Fund #HonorConnor #HonorChris #HonorJose


Colin’s Hope Launches Media Campaigns to Highlight National Water Safety Month

Colin’s Hope has launched multiple media campaigns to highlight National Water Safety Month. During the month of May, we will be sharing water safety tips, encouraging adults and caregivers to become Water Guardians by taking the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Quiz, and we will be partnering with FCB Health on an amazing campaign called NOT OUT OF THE WATER. Check out all we have going on in the coming weeks, follow us on Facebook for the latest information, and join our mailing list to receive water safety and drowning prevention tips year-round.


Colin’s Hope has great news to share about a new partnership we have formed with FCB Health that will help us reach more families and children with valuable water safety and drowning prevention messages.

You may recall the “Demystifying Dry Drowning” story from KXAN News that ran on April 30, or have seen your Facebook feed full of the words “dry drowning,” “secondary drowning,” and “delayed drowning” (none of which are medical terms acknowledged by medical professionals). FCB Health has JUST LAUNCHED the website in an effort to educate parents and caregivers of the drowning signs and symptoms they need to look for the AFTER LEAVING THE WATER. Colin’s Hope was able to help with the content of the site and FCB Health will direct site visitors to for general water safety resources and tips. We are so proud to partner with FCB Health to impact more families and children, ultimately preventing more drownings.

Below is the commentary we wrote to help simplify the definition of drowning after leaving the water, signs and symptoms of drowning and our most basic water safety tip: Watch Kids Around Water.

“Drowning is a process with multiple outcomes (Fatal,non-fatal with injury/illness and non-fatal without injury/illness). The medical definition of drowning is defined as “respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid” (Hawkings, Semprsrott & Schmidt).

The drowning process begins in water and the outcome can occur in water (as in most cases) or it can occur after leaving the water (as in some cases that have been recently described as dry, secondary or delayed drowning).

There are signs and symptoms in drownings that people need to look for after leaving the water if a person has experienced some type of water related incident (inhaling water, choking on water). Some of these signs are: trouble breathing, chest pain, persistent coughing, vomiting, foam around the mouth, low energy, extreme sleepiness, acting unusual and irritability. If you see these signs in your child, seek medical help immediately.

Bottom line: Watch Kids around water, Keep them in Arm’s Reach. If you do this, you will see a drowning incident as it happens and be able to react – either to rescue or watch for symptoms that may occur after leaving the water.

Thank you again for your attention to our mission to raise water safety awareness to prevent drowning. Together, we can achieve the vision of world where no child drowns.


Colin’s Hope: Kicks off the BE A WATER GUARDIAN CAMPAIGN to Prevent Drowning

Colin’s Hope is working throughout May to educate parents and caregivers of simple things that can do to prevent drowning

Austin , Texas May 1, 2018​ – May is National Water Safety Month and Colin’s Hope, a local water safety and drowning prevention organization formed in August 2008 after 4-year-old Colin Holst fatally drowned in a public, lifeguarded pool.

Colin’s Hope kicks off their annual water safety campaign this month to educate parents and caregivers of simple things that can do to prevent drowning as drowning remains the number one cause of unintentional death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14. Yet drowning is preventable. Sadly, Texas has already lost at least 19 children to fatal drownings this year. 5x as many have survived a non-fatal drowning that will impact them and their families for their lifetime.

National Water Safety Month is a collaborative national effort to bring attention aquatic safety.

“Drowning is fast, silent, and preventable. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of our son Colin’s death and the launch of Colin’s Hope,” said Colin’s Hope founders parents Jeff and Jana Holst. “We are proud of all that Colin’s Hope has accomplished in the last decade and are passionately committed to doing all that we can to ensure that no other family loses
a child to drowning. Please remember that drowning is preventable and no one is drownproof. Please educate yourselves and change your behaviors to be safer around water. We challenge you to BE A WATER GUARDIAN. Together, we can achieve the vision of a world where no child drowns.”

Colin’s Hope challenges all parents and adults to be Water Guardians for children by taking the Colin’s Hope Water Safety Quiz at

Colin’s Hope Celebrates 2017 Impact on Drowning Prevention

Colin’s Hope has a lot to celebrate as the year comes to an end. Because of YOU – generous donors and sponsors, visionary partners , and dedicated volunteers – Colin’s Hope has had an extensive impact on drowning prevention. We thank each and every Water Guardian who has contributed time, effort, and resources to this important, and life-saving cause.

Because of YOU, Colin’s Hope celebrates:

  • $76,992.89 raised by Athlete Ambassadors, where each and every dollar has contributed to water safety
  • 70,000 water safety educational cards distributed to families across the nation
  • 5,440 swim lessons and water safety classes sponsored in Central Texas
  • 2,150+ volunteers gave their time and talents to support the Colin’s Hope mission
  • 1,500+ hours of water safety education provided to local elementary, middle, and high school students
  • 650 preschool students given swim lessons and water safety education
  • 250 life jackets donated to loaner stations at area lakes
  • 2 brand new life jacket loaner stations operating in Central Texas
  • 1 new city implementing the Colin’s Hope Preschool Swim Safety Program

Thank you to all who have supported our mission to raise water safety awareness in 2017. We look forward to a Best 2018 Ever!

Happy Holidays from your Colin’s Hope family

Colin’s Hope Preschool Program Expands to San Antonio

Colin’s Hope is proud to announce the expansion of the Preschool Swim Safety Program to San Antonio, TX beginning this winter! Thanks to our partners Miss Tristan Foundation, Pre-K4 children from 10 schools of the Archdiocese of San Antonio will be participating in the program.

In partnership with the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, over 250 preschoolers will attend 8 swimming lessons at their local YMCA while teachers simultaneously implement water safety curriculum in the classroom to encourage safer behaviors around water. Additionally, parents and caregivers will receive safety education to provide a holistic approach to drowning prevention.

BEST DAY EVER thank you to our Families United to Prevent Drowning partners Miss Tristan Foundation for providing the funds to bring this lifesaving program to San Antonio in honor of sweet Tristan.