Drowning is the leading cause of death from unintentional injury among children ages 1 to 4 years old, but drowning is 100 percent preventable. The Dell Children’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Program serves the Greater Austin area with a goal of reducing fatal and nonfatal drownings among children.

Current Program Initiatives

  • Increase access to prevention resources in the community, such as life jackets and swimming lessons
  • Amplify water safety messaging
  • Collaborate with community partners
  • Monitor drowning risks and statistics
  • Evaluate prevention efforts in our community
  • Assess statewide and local policies

Drowning prevention requires multiple layers of protection

  • water safety education
  • swimming lessons
  • barriers to pools, such as fences with self-latching gates
  • alarms on pools and on doors and windows leading to pools
  • wearing U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets
  • constant, active supervision in or near water
  • learning basic water rescue skills and CPR

Whether it’s a trip to the beach, a day at the lake, or a dip in your neighborhood pool, make sure everyone stays safe in the water by following a few basic safety tips.

Water Safety Tips

  • When your child is swimming, give him or her your full attention and constant visual supervision
  • Put away your phones to prevent distraction when around water
  • Teach children to swim and learn to swim yourself
  • Make sure kids learn these five essential water safety skills:
    • Step or jump into water over one’s head and return to the surface
    •  Tread water for one minute
    • Turn around in a full circle and find an exit from the pool
    • Swim 25 yards to exit the water
    • Be able to exit the water. If in a pool, exit without using the ladder
  • When in any type of water, toddlers and infants should be no more than arm’s length away from their parent or caregiver
  • Children should always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a boat or around open bodies of water. The life jacket should fit snugly and should not be able to be lifted above the ears
  • Empty bathtubs, buckets, and kiddie pools immediately after use
  • Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills so you are prepared in case of an emergency

Pool Safety Tips

  • Have a pool at home? Install pool fences, pool alarms, door alarms, and pool safety covers to prevent children from gaining access to the water unsupervised
  • Install fences around backyard pools. A pool fence should completely surround the pool, be at least four feet tall and have self-closing, self-latching gates
  • Remove all toys from the pool and pool deck once swim time is finished
  • Ladders to above ground pools should be removed and/or out of reach for children during non-swimming times

Learn More

Community Partners


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