Cook Children's Treated Fewer Drownings This Summer Compared to 2021; Stay Vigilant During Labor Day Holiday
This summer, there were fewer drownings treated compared to 2021. As Labor Day festivities get underway this weekend, keep in mind to stay vigilant and Lifeguard Your Child.
From May to August, there were 47 drownings treated at Cook Children’s Health Care System, two of which were fatal, marking a decrease compared to the same timeframe in 2021.
While most patients survived these incidents, drowning injuries can result in severe effects. Drownings can happen silently and quickly. A submerged person might not attract attention or appear to be in danger.
Drownings can occur even with many adults present. When there are children around water, always designate a Water Watcher, an adult who is in charge of watching all children without any distractions.
May – August 2022:
- Total drownings: 47
- Fatalities: 2
May – August 2021:
- Total drownings: 67
- Fatalities: 7
May – August 2020:
- Total drownings: 27
- Fatalities: 1
May – August 2019:
- Total drownings: 54
- Fatalities: 3
May – August 2018:
- Total drownings: 68
- Fatalities: 10
Parents can put barriers in place to help prevent a child from accessing the water or make it more difficult to access when an adult is not present. Barriers – such as locks, alarms and fencing – can help keep unsupervised young children from getting into swimming pools.
Water safety is important at any age. When it comes to drowning, seconds count. It is silent and can happen in an instant. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause for kids 1-14 in Texas. But with your help, we can change that.
Lifeguard Your Child began in 2016 and continues its regional collaboration, led by Cook Children’s, to prevent drownings in North Texas. The campaign aligns consistent messages and educational goals across our region. Together with community partners across 11 counties, we work year-round to provide education, Water Watcher tags, swim lessons, life jackets and other prevention tools to families.
The Lifeguard Your Child campaign is spread through the Safe Kids North Texas Coalition, which is based in Fort Worth and led by Cook Children’s.
The campaign’s strategies include Cook Children’s Loaner Life Jacket Stations at many lake entry points across the region. Families can go to the stations to find U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in a variety of sizes with easy tips for a proper fit.
Safety tips for home swimming pools:
- Assign a water watcher, aka an adult who will commit to 100% supervision of children in and around water.
- Restrict access by installing door locks high out of children’s reach. Door and window alarms can signal if someone leaves the house.
- Install four-sided fencing around pools with a self-latching gate that only opens out. The fence should be at least 4 feet (preferably 5 feet) high.
- Remove all toys and floats from the pool area so children are not tempted to get close to the water.
- For above-ground pools, make sure the ladder is removed and not accessible when it’s not swimming time.
- Consider a pool surface alarm to alert if anyone/anything falls into the water.
Safety tips for the bathtub:
- An adult must stay at the side of the tub in reach of the child.
- Pay attention. This is not the time for multitasking.
- Ignore distractions like the doorbell or phone calls.
- Drain the tub after each use.