Education and knowledge is the key for everything and definitely something we should focus on in the new year.
According to the CDC, an average of 10 fatal drowning incidents happen in the USA every day and is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-4 years, the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-14 years, and is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for all ages in the United States. The WHO has reported that drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
This makes drowning a very serious issue that should be addressed throughout the year in order to avoid and prevent fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents. The beginning of a new year is the best time to plan exactly how we can do this in the form of water safety resolutions.
Here are ten to get you started:
1.- Learn the Five Layers of Protection
The term “layers of protection” is one used to classify the majority of strategies directly affecting aquatic environments. Parents, caregivers, residential pool owners, aquatic facility owners, managers and operators should use “layers of protection” to provide a system of increased security to prevent unauthorized access to bodies of water, especially important for children. This means that multiple strategies or devices are used constantly and simultaneously.
Click here to learn the Five Layers of Protection to prevent drowning.
2.- Practice water safety at home
- Never leave your child alone in the bathtub—even for a moment. Many bathtub drownings happen (even in a few inches of water) when a parent leaves a small child alone or with another young child. Also, bath seats are just bathing aids. Bath seats can tip over and your child can slip out of them, so they won’t prevent drowning.
- Empty water from containers, such as large pails and 5-gallon buckets, immediately after use.
- Keep bathroom doors closed. Install door knob covers or a hook-and-eye latch or other lock that is out of the reach of your small child.
- Keep toilets closed. Always close the toilet lid, and consider using a toilet lid latch.
Find more ways to be water safe at home in our blog post Home Water Safety Tips.
3.- Teach your children about water safety
Families have always played a vital role in teaching kids how important it is to learn to swim and behave safely in and around the water. If your child isn’t able to take formal swim lessons right now, you can still help them learn to be safer around backyard pools, ponds or other natural bodies of water.
These are some great resources to help you get started.
4.- Actively support the NDPA to promote water safety and drowning prevention all year long.
The mission of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance is to reduce the incidence of drowning and aquatic injuries in the US and abroad. United, we can reach our goal of 0 drownings.
Whether you join or support the alliance in other ways, you can empower your communities to take more action, touch more lives, and make an even greater difference. Check out 5 Ways You Can Support The NDPA for more ideas.
5.- Promote water safety and ways to prevent drowning in your community.
Find information, actions and resources to get your community involved in water safety advocacy efforts whether they be in person or online at the NDPA Resource Center.
Then call a neighborhood gathering to get started!
6.- Enroll your children in swimming lessons.
Swim skills add a layer of protection to prevent drowning incidents. Formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning among children 1-4 years by 88%. This is the only sport that can actually save lives and can also reduce the risk of drowning among older individuals.
Water competency and swim lessons should be continuous, and not taken for just one season – skills need to be developed and maintained during the entire year. Identify the right swim program for your child by downloading our Swim Program Decision Chart and our Swim Program Checklist!
7.- Learn CPR with rescue breaths. Compression-only CPR does not treat drowning.
Anyone who lives in a home with a pool should learn CPR and rescue breathing. CPR training and certification should be refreshed every one to two years, depending upon the certification agency, or more frequently if there have been recent changes in recommendations.
You can’t predict when an emergency will strike, so knowing how to prepare for a water-related incident can mean the difference between life and death.
8.- Invest in a life vest for each member of the family.
A life jacket is a very effective life-saving strategy in the quest to reduce the number of fatal drowning incidents in the country, especially in open water.
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) tested and approved life jackets should be worn by everyone, when in or around open/natural bodies of water, and when boating. Life jackets should be sized appropriately for the wearer. When other layers of protection may break down, life jackets can help prevent unintentional drowning. Learn more about it here.
9.- Register for the 2023 National Water Safety Conference
The conference is a great fit for anyone involved in child safety advocacy, injury prevention, safety education, water safety, drowning prevention, first response, public health, public policy, aquatics, and many more areas!
This year the #NWSC2023 will be offered from February 13 – 16, 2023 in-person and virtually, co-located with the 2023 AOAP Annual Conference at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO.
We have 80+ speakers lined up this year, and with the ALL ACCESS PASS you won’t need to worry about missing sessions or trying to soak in the education all at once! Get access to every keynote, live session, workshop, and training for up to 5 months after the conference!
10.- Join the NDPA Water Safety Warriors Group and sign up to become a Water Safety Champion!
The NDPA has the goal of bringing everyone who has a vested interest in drowning prevention and water safety together. This way, we can provide education and resources to prevent drowning and aquatic injury by making water safer to enjoy.
By providing this space to connect to each other, access to the most current information, and share resources to help be more effective in our efforts, we are sure can reach our goal to end accidental drownings! Just click to join!