Houston, TX

Houston Mayor partners Houston Health Department and Judah Brown Project to prevent childhood drownings

Jessica Yang

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HOUSTON, TX — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner partners Houston Health Department and Judah Brown Project to promote awareness about the risk of childhood drownings. This also includes educating parents as well as caregivers about reducing the risk, and connecting people to additional resources to save lives. In addition, Mayor Turner and the non-profit organization recently created and published a public service announcement video, followed by the health department developing an educational webpage.

According to WHO, drowning is in the top five causes of death for people aged 1 – 14 years old for 48 of 85 countries with data meeting inclusion criteria. In United States, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1 – 14 years old.

Mayor Turner said, “I can’t imagine the unbearable heartache of losing a child, but the Browns experienced it and have a powerful story to share to prevent others from experiencing the same pain.”

He also added that this valuable partnership further extends Judah’s legacy and gives parents and caregivers valuable information and resources.

The Judah Brown Project establishes partnerships with agencies that provide survival swim instruction, CPR certification and other lifesaving education to families of children ages 1 until 4. A preschool teacher of Judah, Annette Courtney formed the charity following the 3-year-old’s drowning death and Judah’s parents, Christi and Mark Brown, partnered with Courtney.

Brown stated that most of the time parents of children who drown are not outright negligent but they simply have a false sense of security regarding their child and water. “For example, parents need to understand that traditional swimming lessons do not provide children under four the skills to save themselves from drowning,” explained Brown. He added that the ability comes from survival swim lessons.

Mayor Turner, Houston Health and Judah Brown Project offer layers of protection that can be used by parents and caregivers to significantly reduce the risk which include providing an adult who's responsible for keeping their eyes on children in the water and is free of distractions, giving children survival swimming lessons and traditional swimming lessons, getting certified in CPR, and providing proper barriers around the pool. Further details about the layers of protection are available on the Mayor's press release.

Details and information about free and low-cost swimming lessons, organizations that offer swim lesson scholarships and more water safety resources are available at http://www.houstonhealth.org/. Concerns about the safety of pools in Houston can be reported to Houston Health Department pool inspectors via 311.

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