Drownings declared a public health crisis in Harris County

FOX 26 is your station for safety, and we want to remind parents that with the summer season  kicking off you want to be very cautious when your child goes for a swim.

The family of Judah Brown wants to do everything they can to prevent other families from feeling the pain they went through.

Mark Brown, Judah’s father, tells FOX 26 that, “Today would have been Judah’s sixth birthday. At the age of three he drowned and died so today even though he’s not with us he’s in heaven we still recognize his birthday every year.”

Judah’s death sparked a passion in his pre-school teacher Annette Courtny and his family to start the Judah Brown Project.

Courtny says, “We offer classes for our communities, so we go into schools and speak about water safety. Teach kids how to be water smart. We go into doctors, hospitals, nurses and hand them these water safety pamphlets and these are all in, and these are all over the United States now."

Christi Brown, Judah’s mother says it’s hard to hear when she finds out a child passed away from drowning.

“It’s heartbreaking for us every single time it happens because we relive it, and we understand exactly what those parents are going through, and it just breaks our heart to see it happen again,” she tells us.

The Judah Brown Project also offers CPR classes, recommends five-feet fencing around all swimming pools, and alarms on doors leading to pools, and promotes assigning adults as water watchers. They advise parents to use touch supervision, to not to rely on flotation devices as it provides a young child a false sense of security, and enroll your child in swimming lessons. 

The Brown family is also working with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, saying this is an issue they will continue to address until the number of drowning deaths is zero.

“I mean it’s so prevalent, there’s so much happening right now in Harris County,  in Texas. Texas is number one in the country for drownings and Harris County is number one in Texas,“ says Mark Brown.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez addressed this on Twitter today, and part of his tweet said:

“This is a public health crisis. At Harris County Sheriff’s Office we will continue to raise awareness. We see the impact to our community and the aftermath when responding to these scenes. We must all do more address this.”

There are plenty of resources in the Houston area for swimming lessons and water safety classes. You can start by checking out The Judah Brown Project., the YMCA of Greater Houston, and the Red Cross.