When six-year-old Cati DelaPeña went on a pool trip with her camp, her parents informed the organization that Cati could not swim and gave instructions to put her in a lifejacket. The camp did not follow these directions, and Cati drowned.

In the wake of this tragedy, there have been calls to update Texas law to clarify responsibility for the safety of children participating in activities in or near a body of water while under the care of certain organizations. Cati’s Bill seeks to answer these calls by requiring organizations such as camps, schools, and child-care facilities to obtain a parent’s or guardian’s written affirmation of a child’s ability to swim. The organizations would then be required to provide the children who cannot swim with properly fitted USCG approved life jacket when these children are in or near a body of water.

Representative Vikki Goodwin introduced HB 1676 (Cati’s Bill) during the 87th Texas Legislative Session and the bill successfully passed the House. She plans on reintroducing Cati’s Bill in the 88th Legislative Session. Drowning is now the number one cause of death of children ages 1 to 4. Texas often gets recognized as one of the top states with the highest number of children to drown under the age of 15. These facts should put everyone into action mode. We will need your support with testimonies, education, and advocacy at the State Capitol. We must do better and improve water safety laws to protect our children in our great state of Texas!


Testifying to the H&HS Committee
87th Legislation

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