Fort Worth, Texas ,
14:31 PM

Record Number of Children Seen for Drowning Over Holiday Weekend

Eleven Children Admitted for Drowning Over Memorial Day Weekend. Two Died.

Summer is off to a deadly start for children in North Texas. Despite calls from local officials and families of drowning victims to ‘Lifeguard Your Child’ around water, 11 children were admitted to Cook Children’s over Memorial Day weekend. Two of those children died.

Friday afternoon, families affected by drowning tragedies joined arms at Cook Children’s with physicians as well as firefighters from Fort Worth and surrounding fire departments. At a news conference organized by the hospital, they were urging parents to practice vigilance around water and protect their children from drowning. Unfortunately, their calls came directly before one of the worst weekends for pediatric drownings in recent history.

“Every year we face the same drowning tragedies with multiple families torn apart for something that is preventable. Even the most veteran doctors and nurses struggle to deal with these events,” said Corwin Warmink, M.D., medical director of the Emergency Department at Cook Children’s. “Drowning happens in a matter of seconds, can be subtle and silent and generally occurs when adults and family members are nearby.”


Already in May, 18 children have been admitted to Cook Children’s for drowning-related injuries and three did not survive. That’s more than double the numbers we’ve seen in the past five years.

This is also the first May since at least 2012 with drowning fatalities recorded at Cook Children’s.

“People need to actively supervise their children when they are in or even near water. This means designating a specific person who’s responsibility it is to watch the water without distraction,” said Dr. Warmink. “Teaching your children the dangers of water, having them learn to swim and parents learning CPR are also worthwhile.”

To prevent children from drowning, Cook Children’s experts recommend:

  • Install four-sided fences with self-latching gates around pools
  • Wear life vests with U.S. Coast Guard-approved labels
  • Take family CPR lessons
  • Create and follow all pool rules
  • Use pool door/child alarms
  • Always have an non-distracted adult act as a Water Watcher
  • Schedule water safety and swim lessons
  • Update pool drains and cleaning systems

For more information on how to implement this advice, please visit Cook Children’s Water Safety website.

How to help if someone is drowning 

The Red Cross provides these tips to assist someone in trouble in the water and you can reach the person with an object, you should:

  • Stay out of the water.
  • Brace yourself on a pool deck, pier surface or shoreline.
  • Reach out to the person using any object that extends your reach, such as a pole, an oar, a paddle, a tree branch, a belt.
  • When the person grasps the object, slowly and carefully pull him or her to safety.
  • Keep your body low and lean back to avoid being pulled into the water.


Lifeguard Your Child 

It's time to make Texas #1 in drowning prevention. 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. Please join us in our drowning prevention effort. Together, we can Lifeguard Your Child around water.

Want to know how you can get involved or create an awareness campaign in your community? Contact Dana Walraven, Safe Kids Tarrant County coordinator at 682-885-1619 or email


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Dorothy L Pollard
The kind of drownings I am seeing here in Chattanooga are adults or teenagers who know how to swim and then fall out of their Kayak , or off their Paddle board and never resurface. Although they were accompanied by friends they had to drag for their bodies. No life jacket.. The water appears calm on top,however something is sucking them down. How does one educate the swimmers on this problem