Water Safety Campaign - April Pools Day 2007
March 12, 2007 -- The kick-off
of our water safety campaign - April Pools Day (Saturday April
14, 2007) marks the start of the warm water pool season and it
also ushers in a season long water safety education campaign orchestrated
by numerous water safety and first responders across Houston and
for the April Pools flyer.
Click here for the April Pools flyer in Spanish.
April Pools Day re-enforces the partnership created
between several organizations committed to protecting our children
from drowning, which can occur suddenly and silently. The goal
is to build awareness through efforts that will encourage the
use of life jackets by kids when near large bodies of water and
motivate adults to be watchful when children are around any body
of water, including mop buckets and 5-gallon containers.
The team consists of the Houston Police Department,
Houston Fire Department, Safe Kids, Greater Houston Water Safety
Team, Houston/Harris County Child Fatality Review Team, YMCA of
the Greater Houston Area and Texas Children's Hospital, just to
mention a few. The collective efforts of these agencies have one
main goal in mind: to reduce child deaths related to water safety.
"This front line proactive effort to prevent
injuries or deaths due to water submersion is the first step in
making sure our children grow up happy and healthy," said
HPD Chief Harold Hurtt. "As adults we must lead the way in
sheltering our children from harms way, so I encourage every parent
or guardian to enroll their child in swimming classes, and if
they can't swim, learn safety techniques," added Chief Hurtt.
The objective is to educate the public on ways
to keep kids safe as they enjoy water related activities. The
goal is to provide useful information to educate kids, parents
and adults on ways to make sure kids remain safe in and around
large and small bodies of water. The HPD Neighborhood Protection
Division is conducting abatement inspections on pools throughout
the city looking for violations. Neighborhood Protection Division
is requiring owners to make repairs to pools with code violations
or be shutdown. Inspectors are also looking for abandoned pools
behind homes that are not occupied. Many children fall into these
pools and drown. "We have an aggressive program on going
to combat potential drownings before swimming season starts,"
said HPD Officer Jack Hanagrif of the HPD Neighborhood Protection
Occupied properties that have fencing violations,
which creates a dangerous pool, are referred to HPD. A DRT Officer
(Differential Response Team) will meet with the resident/owner
regarding code violations and compliance. A “Make Safe Unit”
will evaluate unoccupied properties that have fencing violations
in an attempt to temporarily secure the fence. Houston Trauma
Link is assisting HPD by identifying high-risk neighborhoods that
have had submersion incidents or pool violations. Those neighborhoods
will receive aggressive pool inspections and education campaigns.
For additional information, please contact the
HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200 or visit www.houstonredcross.org
or www.safekids.org or www.ymcahouston.org.
information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at