Non-profit Colin’s Hope aims to raise water safety awareness


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two-month-old Jamison is healthy and happy, and it’s time for his well child visit. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these check-ups after birth. The well visits cover everything from development, nutrition and in Dr. Ari Brown’s office at 411 Pediatrics, water safety.

“One of the first water safety skills you could teach him is getting comfortable in the water, even in the bathtub, pouring water on him,” said Dr. Brown to Jamison’s family.

Dr. Brown has made water safety a priority because she lost a patient to drowning. Colin Holst, 4, drowned in an Austin pool with lifeguards and family nearby. After the 4-year-old’s death, his parents started Colin’s Hope, which is an organization that teaches water safety awareness.

“Drowning is silent, it’s fast and it’s preventable, and those are things that parents probably don’t realize quite as much as they should,” explained Dr. Brown.

AAP includes water safety as part of the well visit guidelines, but Dr. Brown says it can easily fall off the list of things to cover. 

“One of the challenges in pediatrics is that there are so many topics that are important to talk about: car seats, gun safety … screen time,” she said. 

Colin’s Hope is working to change that and now teaming up with national water safety groups to get the message across. 

Colin’s Hope representatives say this year, 80 children have drowned and died in Texas, and at least 10 of those happened in bathtubs. “If we can work with Pediatricians to talk about water safety at all ages, all stages of development, beginning with birth to 18, that water safety message is important at every single age, it just changes,” said Alissa Magrum, executive director of Colin’s Hope.

She says if your pediatrician doesn’t bring up water safety, make sure you do and ask questions.

Test how much you know right now with this water safety quiz.

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