HOUSTON (KIAH)— Summer is right around the corner and it’s Water Safety Month. With that comes the increase of potential drowning accidents. According to Harris County Public Health, back in 2022, 76 children between the ages of 8 months to 17 years drowned in Texas. Eleven of those cases happened in Harris County.

This Water Safety Month, Harris County Public Health wants to remind swimmers to take extra precautions this summer when in or around bodies of water especially with children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that more children around the age of 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death in the U.S.. Children 5-14 are apart of the second leading cause of injury death compared to car crashes.

The risk doesn’t stop at the swimming pool. Drownings can also happen in a residential pool, bathtub, rivers, creeks, ponds and bayous. 71% of child drownings last year happened in a home pool or bathtub statewide.

Director of Environmental Public Health Division at Harris County Public Health said, “Drowning accidents can be prevented. We strongly encourage all families, especially parents and adult caregivers of small children to pay close attention to children any time they are around any bodies of water.”

HCPH says that there is a higher risk for:

  • Children 5 years old and younger, teens and then young adults
  • Males are three times more likely to drown than females
  • African Americans, Alaska Natives and American Indians
  • People with some medical conditions may be at higher risk

Water Safety tips to keep in mind this Summer:

  • Stay alert- children can be fast and disappear when you aren’t watching
  • Consider swim lessons
  • Never rely on a lifeguard to watch your child
  • Never allow your child to play games associated with holding your breath under water for long periods of time
  • When the pool is not in use, remove toys that may attract children to the swimming pool
  • Learn basic CPR
  • Make sure your child is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard life jacket
  • Install a safety barrier such as a fence with a self-closing/self-latching gate, a pool cover or a safety alarm system
  • Remove ladders from above-ground pools