Houston Health Department

Water Safety and Drowning Prevention



Protect Against Drowning

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4. No child is “drown proof.” However, you can significantly reduce the risk by using the following layers of protection:

  • Designate a “water watcher.” This adult is responsible for keeping their eyes on all children in the water and should be free of all distractions — including cell phones and socializing. The “water watcher” should be switched every 15 minutes to avoid attention fatigue.
  • Teach children to swim. Survival swimming lessons teach children self-rescue techniques to help prevent water accident deaths. Traditional swimming lessons teach children proper swimming strokes.
  • Learn CPR. Become certified in CRP and update your skills annually. It could save the life of your child or another person.
  • Have proper barriers. Ensure the fence around your pool is at least five feet tall with a self-closing and self-latching gate. Make sure doors and windows to the pool are always locked and alarmed. Have a pool alarm installed to alert you when anyone goes into the water.

Water safety and drowning prevention resources

  • Judah Brown Project provides scholarships for survival swim lessons, water safety pamphlets to parents and caregivers, trainings and education on water safety and drowning prevention for pre-k through high school and for parents, caregivers and medical and pool professionals, provides CPR classes.
  • Bria’s House allows under privileged children the opportunity to learn how to swim and CPR certification for the parents.
  • Greater Houston Area Drowning Prevention Alliance strives to educate the community about the dangers of drowning and provide resources and preventative measures in reducing the risks of drowning.
  • Houston Parks and Recreation provides free learn to swim classes for youth through the H2OSafe program. Classes are accessible to all and are offered at various skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. All classes are free. Registration is on a “first come, first served” basis during specified registration periods.
  • Infant Aquatics is dedicated to teaching your child the survival swimming skills needed to enjoy the water safely.
  • ISR-Infant Self Resource is the global leader in survival swimming lessons for infants and young children.
  • National Drowning Prevention Alliance believes that together we can reduce the incidence of drowning and aquatic injuries in the US and abroad.
  • Rory The Warrior attends events, puts on fundraisers, purchases Hero Bags (first aid kits that contain emergency oxygen) and deliver blessing bags to families that find themselves in the NICU and PICU fighting for their child’s life.
  • Safe Kids Greater Houston works on a local level at preventing unintentional child injuries and deaths.
  • Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance strives to educate Texans about water risks in order to prevent drowning deaths.
  • YMCA of Greater Houston offers swim lessons for infants, kids, teenagers and adults.

Know of other water safety and drowning prevention resources? Email us today.

Have concerns about the safety of a pool? Call 3-1-1 to report it to our pool inspectors who will determine if it complies with City of Houston Code of Ordinances Chapter 43.