Every day, an average of ten people die from unintentional drowning. Drowning continues to rank fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States and second for causes of death in children aged 14 and under. 

The NDPA continues to work hard to bring those numbers down through water safety awareness, education and advocacy. As 2019 draws to a close, we look back and take stock of the progress made to further our goals of drowning prevention:

These achievements would not have been possible without the support and contributions of all our members, partners and sponsors and above all the commitment and dedication of the NDPA Board Members. 

We are ready to welcome a new year and a new decade with redoubled efforts to prevent drowning and promote water safety best practices throughout the country.

United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning. Support the NDPA today!

The holidays are a time of lots of fun and activity in the average household. It is a time when most people are out of their normal, daily routine hosting family gatherings and celebrating with friends and neighbors. With all the hustle and bustle, accidents are more prone to happen which is why homeowners must make additional efforts to keep family members, guests and pets as safe as possible.

Bear in mind that ages and stages make a huge difference in home and water safety so be sure to take them into consideration when prepping your home for the December festivities because the littlest of details can make a huge difference.

The NDPA recently hosted an online webinar where our guest speakers shared a bevy of safety tips that can be easily applied during the holiday season. Here are a few basic precautions to ensure you and yours remain injury-free throughout the season.

  • Make a quick list of local emergency numbers to keep on hand and make copies for friends and family visiting. 
  • When cooking, set timers and always be attentive of what is on the stove to avoid fires.
  • Child safety should be delegated to someone who can actively supervise them without distractions. Hosts need to learn to “pass the baton” and make sure there is always someone watching the kids.
  • Walk your guests through your home and property and point out the layers of protection that are in place explaining what to be on the lookout for to make sure everyone is safe.
  • If you have open water areas on your property, set the rules as to where kids can go without an adult and be sure everyone is ware of them.
  • Designated watchers can play games to keep kids busy and occupied. Find fun ways to distract them so they don’t go our and seek entertainment on their own.
  • Use LED lights when decorating your home. They don’t get as hot as regular ones which means your tree won’t dry out so quickly and become a bigger fire hazard.
  • Make sure your tree is watered everyday to prevent early dryness.
  • Watch candle placements in your home and be sure they are far from curtains and not within reach of kids and pets. Be aware that they don’t burn down too low and crack the glass that encases them or that they burn the surface on which that are placed.
  • Put together a family newsletter in advance and send out before house-guests arrive. Go over it together and make sure the inherent safety message is well received.
  • A newsletter is also a great way to give family members information that can be shared with others such as emergency numbers, the exact address where they are staying and any emergency plan that you may have in place.
  • Make an action plan to get through an emergency that details who you are going to call and where you are going to go.
  • If the worst situation happens, be ready by knowing exactly where you are and where the nearest hospital  is. Try to stay calm during the emergency, call 911 and listen attentively to any instructions the operator might give you.
  • Learn CPR and make sure other family members and guests have this life-saving skill as well.

What safety measures do you have in place at home to prevent accidents during the holidays?

December is the biggest gift-giving month of the year. Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents are buying massive amounts of toys and gifts to ensure kids have a wonderful holiday season.

Unfortunately, December is also the month in which thousands of children are injured every year as a result of playing with unsafe or non age appropriate toys.  In the United States, emergency rooms treated 251,800 toy-related injuries, according to the report issued last year from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 44 percent of the injuries were to the head and face area, the area of the body with the most injuries. An estimated 84,400 of all toy-related injuries, or 34 percent, happened to children younger than 5 years of age.

Prevent Blindness America declared December Safe Toys & Gifts Month in order to reduce the number of accidents and injuries suffered by children due to unsafe or inappropriate toys during the holidays. Take the time this month to re-cap on some basic safety advice and brush up on buying safe tips, appropriate toys and what to do should you discover a potential hazard.

It’s important to think about the safety of any gift you’re giving, especially if it’s a gift for a child. We’ve put together a list of toys and gifts that are not only safe in themselves but also promote water safety awareness which is the first step towards drowning prevention.

Books

Josh The Baby Otter

“Josh the Baby Otter” was created to help children comprehend and remember this important message: TO STAY AWAY FROM WATER UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT. It’s goal is to create a water safety behavior for all children that will be passed on from generation to generation.

Stewie The Duck Learns To Swim

Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim is an important and fun child’s first guide to water safety. Written for children ages two through six, the book conveys the message of how to be safe near the water through the story of Stewie, a duck who wants to swim with the “big ducks” but is prevented from going in the water by his older sisters until he learns the water safety rules.


The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim

The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim follows the journey of a young polar bear named Zeke who is afraid of the water and refuses to swim. He leaves his home in search of other animals who do not swim, and ends up finding that he can enjoy the water if he follows the ABC and Ds of water safety, while learning a valuable lesson about facing his fears with a positive attitude.

Swimming Accessories

USCG approved lifevests

Getting kids to wear life jackets can be a cumbersome task — bulky neon padded vests don’t exactly shout cool.  But the risks of not wearing them are too great to ignore. The Center for Disease Control reports drowning to be the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death amongst children ages 1-14 behind motor vehicle crashes.  This can be a great gift that helps protect kids when in or near water.


Nekdoodle® Pool Toys and Accessories

Nekdoodle® offers a wide variety of pool toys and accessories for kids and adults such as pool floats for swimming, swim collars, pool noodles, water noodles, personal flotation devices, neck floats and foam noodles swimming.

Swim Water Shoes

Water shoes have a great many uses, and can do much more than flip-flops or sandals can. They will keep children’s feet protected from slips, sharp rocks, sunburns and much more making them a good choice as a holiday gift.

Toys

Stewie the Duck Swimtime Fun Bucket Kids Gift

This gift can help save a life! Upon purchase of this gift, a donation will be made to the Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities, which grants underprivileged children with FREE swim lessons.It includes a Stewie the Duck book,bright, sunshine yellow hooded towel featuring Stewie the Duck, a Stewie the Duck plush, and bath time toy. All bundled in a playful bucket and shovel set, with helpful water safety advice.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision offer some great guides for selecting suitable toys for Kids Ages 0 – 5 and Kids Ages 6 – 12.