Would you do something for 5 minutes if it meant that you might save your child’s life? If you say YES, then keep reading. Your 5 minutes has already begun.
April is Texas Water Safety Month and May is National Water Safety Month. I ask you to celebrate these by taking water seriously and helping to prevent your children from drowning.
I am the Executive Director of the local drowning prevention nonprofit, Colin’s Hope, and a mom to (almost) 9 year old Ella. 6 years ago, I didn’t think drowning was something I needed to worry about at all. Then Colin drowned. And Josh drowned. And Averie drowned. And Kareem and Christian and Joshua and Zachary and Abbey and Brayden and Stewie and so many other children drowned.
And Clay and Jack and Ian and so many more children survived drowning incidents.
These children have changed my mind. Drowning is something I do NEED to worry about. I love water and so does my daughter Ella-but water is NOT safe. Water will never be completely safe BUT I am going to tell you a few simple things and few small behavior changes you can make that can help keep you and your family to be safer around water.
Are you in yet? Think about it—we take 20 seconds every time we get in the car to buckle our babies into car seats to keep them safer. We spend countless minutes reminding our kiddos to put a helmet on before they pedal off to keep them safer on bikes and scooters. We do these small behaviors over and over because we know they can help prevent tragedies.
I ask you to please take 3 minutes and take the Colin’s Hope water safety quiz here. Then read on and you can quickly add water safety tools to your parenting toolbox (or your pool bag).
10 simple things YOU can do NOW to help prevent drowning:
1. Talk to your kids about water safety and tell them to NEVER get in water without an adult Water Guardian (that’s YOU or another adult).
2. Understand that drowning is FAST and SILENT.
3. Keep Kids in Arm’s Reach when near, in and around water.
4. Enroll in formal swim lessons and learn to swim.
5. Ensure that your pool and your neighbors pools are fenced and have self latching/ locking gates.
6. Weak and non-swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved and properly fitted life jacket NOT water wings or floaties.
7. Teach kids to stay away from pool drains to avoid entrapment.
8. Learn CPR
9. Visit www.colinshope.org and learn more, volunteer or donate.
10. Share this information with your friends and family- it could save a life!
Colin’s Hope has a vision of a world where children do not drown. I hope that you will share this vision and this important water safety information as we prepare for another long, hot Texas summer.
In the words of Colin Holst–Have the Best Day Ever!
Mom, Colin’s Hope Executive Director, Swimmer