Water safety and drowning prevention

Dell Children’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety (DPWS) program promotes water safety for children and families in Central Texas.

woman and little girl swimming in pool

Water safety and drowning prevention

Drowning is a public health crisis in Texas and across the country. As a children’s hospital that serves over 46 counties in Central Texas, doctors and care teams at Dell Children’s Medical Center treat many children who experience drowning. At Dell Children’s and across all Ascension locations, we strive to provide the most advanced and up-to-date care for those who have experienced a near-drowning event. However, it is critical that we do all that we can within our community to prevent drowning from happening in the first place. That’s why we created the Dell Children’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Program.

Drowning prevention and water safety

The goal of our Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Program is to improve water safety and prevent drowning. This program is a collaboration between pediatric injury prevention specialists and trauma researchers.

Water safety tips

The best way to prevent drowning is to use many layers of protection. Keep these water safety tips in mind at all times:

  1. Never leave children alone in a bathtub.
  2. Infant bath seats can tip over. Empty baths immediately after use.
  3. Install alarms on doors and windows that lead to pool areas.
  4. Empty buckets and things that may collect water outside.
  5. Empty kiddie pools immediately after use.
  6. Use pool alarms to alert others when someone is in danger.
  7. Gates leading to pools should be self-closing and self-latching.
  8. Pools are best protected by 4-sided, 4 foot tall fences. Spaces between bars on a fence must be less than 4 inches wide.
  9. Remove all pool toys from the water after swim time.
  10. Pool drains can be dangerous, teach your children to avoid them.
  11. U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets should be properly fitted and worn.
  12. Children should constantly be watched in and around water. Use touch supervision for infants and toddlers, meaning they should be no more than an arm’s length away when in water.
  13. Swim in areas with a lifeguard on duty.
  14. Read and obey all warning signs, especially around water.

You can also download our Water Safety Tip Card (available in English and Spanish).

Drowning prevention and water safety research

Researchers at Dell Children’s are focusing on drowning prevention and water safety. Our studies address topics related to drowning and drowning risk. Learn more.

Water safety and drowning prevention