The holidays are in full swing! This is a joyous season for many of us – from gift-giving, visiting family and friends, and baking holiday confections – there’s so much to be thankful for.
Despite the joyous overtones of the season, many families and friends have had to deal with the unexpected ups and downs of losing a loved one to drowning or other aquatic-related injuries.
Throughout the year, many water safety organizations (including the NDPA) work hard to educate families, children, and their communities about the importance of water safety. Still, the holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring attention to the urgent need to prevent drownings.
We want to make the giving process as easy and understandable as possible, so here are some of the best reasons to support water safety organizations and continue to end the tragedy of childhood drownings.
1. Drowning is the Leading Cause of Death in Children Ages 1-4
The statistics are shocking: drowning is still the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 and remains in the top 4 causes of death for ages 54 and up.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that number correlates to an average of 4,012 unintentional drowning deaths per year based on data from 2011-2020.
It’s important to know that drowning can happen to anyone, but there are steps to help reduce this staggering amount of lost lives each year. Although accidents happen, pool owners, owners of properties with large water features, and parents with young children must remain vigilant regarding water safety.
Drowning can happen in as little as 30 seconds, so no single water safety strategy is enough.
Organizations that actively share information about the 5 Layers of Protection to prevent drowning – Barriers & Alarms, Supervision, Water Competency, Life Jackets, and Emergency Preparation – should earn your support because they provide information on the best five water safety strategies that can reduce drowning risks.
2. Drowning Costs the U. S. Economy Over 50 Billion Per Year
While it’s true that many aquatic activities have significant physical and social benefits, those that aren’t practicing proper water safety strategies are at a greater risk of drowning.
Through the CDC WISQARS cost of injury module, the total estimated cost of drowning (fatal and nonfatal) in the U.S. in 2020 was $53.53 billion. This calculation includes the addition of the cost of emergency services and hospitalizations related to drownings.
Based on this statistic alone, it is clear that drowning is not only a public health problem but an economic problem that will continue to increase if awareness and education about drowning prevention efforts are not brought to light.
When you donate to a water safety organization, you are contributing to saving lives in your community and reducing the economic burden on our country.
3. Donations Help Expand Vital Research and Funding Programs
Many water safety organizations depend on donation dollars to help promote programs and research collaboration efforts to help prevent drowning.
To keep the research gaps narrow and prioritize evidence-informed strategies for water safety, it is necessary to expand research and funding programs for drowning prevention.
Donating to water safety organizations also supports swim lesson grants, life jacket loaner stations, research summits, and programs that make water safety education readily available to the general public and government officials.
4. Even Small Donations Can Make a Huge Impact on Local Communities
When you want to change the numbers globally, it all starts with making a difference locally, and a little can go a long way.
- Talk to your local water safety and drowning prevention organizations to see what your community needs most:
- Is there a shortage of lifeguards due to the cost of certifications?
- Are there children in need of swim program scholarships?
- Does your community lake need support in building a life jacket loaner station?
- Do your local non-profit organizations need donations for materials for hosting a water safety day at local schools?
The contributions you make to water safety organizations that work on local initiatives like the above are essential, and a $25-$50 donation can have a significant impact on local families.
Find the nearest water safety organization near you and see what type of opportunities they offer and how you can get involved. Remember, every donation counts!
5. Non-Profit Donations Are Tax-Deductible
Did you know that donating to a 501(c)(3) non-profit can make you eligible for certain tax deductions?
The tax deduction associated with donating can make donating seem more tangible, as you can see it comes directly from the slight decrease in your income taxes.
As an added benefit, you’ll save a little on your giving list for the season, which is a great financial incentive to contribute to the safety of your community!
To search for a tax-exempt water safety organization, use the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool.
Supporting Water Safety Organizations this Holiday Season
No matter which water safety organization you choose, remember that the intention behind your donation matters more than the amount. Even $5 can help an underprivileged community have better access to swimming lessons or help fund the salary of a lifeguard.
At NDPA, we are beyond thankful for the generosity of our donors, members, partners, and continued supporters throughout the holiday season.
Without all of you, achieving our mission to prevent the tragedy of drowning would not be possible!