Harris County Public Health Encourages Water Safety Awareness During National Water Safety Month

More children between the ages of 1 and 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death.

HOUSTON – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) reminds residents of the importance of water safety as we approach summer and families head outdoors for recreational activities. May is National Water Safety Month, and HCPH is committed to educating the community and promoting awareness to prevent drownings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more children between ages 1 and 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death in the United States. For children ages 5-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.

“Tragedies are preventable,” said Scott Jeansonne, HCPH’s Environmental Public Health Director. “With summer on the horizon and more residents enjoying water recreation, it’s crucial to prioritize water safety measures and ensure everyone stays safe while having fun.”

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), 90 children tragically drowned in Texas in 2023, with 25 of those incidents occurring in Harris County alone. These statistics highlight the urgent need for water safety awareness.

HCPH encourages residents to take the following water safety precautions:

  • Always supervise children closely around water. Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub, pool, or any body of water – even for a moment.
  • Use Coast Guard-approved life jackets for all children who cannot swim.
  • Learn to Swim. Enroll children in swimming lessons to equip them with basic water survival skills.
  • Learn CPR. Knowing CPR can be lifesaving in the event of a water emergency.
  • Install pool fencing with self-latching gates and keep it secure.
  • Maintain pool safety equipment and keep it readily accessible.
  • Empty bathtubs and buckets immediately after use.
  • Close toilet lids and keep bathroom doors closed when not in use.

For more information on water safety, visit the Harris County Public Health website at hcphtx.org/WaterSafety or the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/drowning/prevention.