For many, water is a source of joy and memory – bringing together even the unlikeliest of pairs. However, water is an element that deserves our respect and attention.
Drowning is a tragedy that can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, it is fast, silent, and often not what you would expect, so it’s essential to learn the latest available water safety and drowning prevention information.
Data & Statistics on Drowning
The following data and research has been compiled over the past few years from sources such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), WHO (World Health Organization), and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics). Learning the latest drowning statistics is crucial to understanding how drowning can affect anyone and its impact on society.
General Drowning Statistics:
Drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of injury-related death for children up to age 14.
There is an average of 4,012 unintentional drowning deaths per year.
Drowning remains among the top four causes of death from age 54 and up.
The U.S. experiences an average of 11 fatal drownings per day and an average of 22 non-fatal drownings per day.
More than 40% of drownings treated in the Emergency Department require hospitalization, transfer, or further care (compared with 8% of all unintentional injuries). Outcomes of morbidity include brain damage, other serious outcomes, and long-term disability.
Drowning death rates for Black people are 1.5 times higher than the rates for White people. Disparities are highest among Black children ages 5-9 (rates 2.6 times higher) and ages 10-14 (rates 3.6 times higher).
Drowning Statistics on People With Disabilities/Medical Conditions
People with seizure disorders such as epilepsy are at a higher risk of fatal and non-fatal drowning than the general population. Other conditions, such as autism and heart conditions, are also associated with a higher risk of drowning.
Water Safety & Drowning Prevention Internal Resources
We offer a wide range of resources at the NDPA to assist you in learning about the latest water safety and drowning prevention efforts across various industries, including residential pools and spas, commercial aquatics, pediatrics, and resources for parents and caregivers.
Some of our best internal resources for water safety and drowning prevention include:
Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Industry Updates
With recent research findings, water safety legislation, and awareness campaigns currently circulating in the water safety industry, there are many areas of expertise to be mindful of. Only together can we reduce the incidence of drowning and aquatic injuries.
The following resources are key items to utilize when keeping up to date with the latest water safety and drowning prevention industry:
https://ndpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/JAN-28-water-safety-and-drowning-prevention-ndpa.png415738Morgan Hoefthttps://ndpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/NDPA_Logo_RGB_ForWeb.pngMorgan Hoeft2023-02-22 09:00:002023-03-13 15:29:30The Latest Information on Water Safety and Drowning Prevention
Water safety is paramount whether running an aquatic facility, teaching swimming lessons, or competing in aquatic events. Access to the necessary resources is essential to ensure aquatic professionals have the tools to create safer environments.
Aquatic professionals should know the available resources to help them and learn about the latest industry standards.
One of the main tasks of an aquatic professional is to ensure that their facilities and communities are water safe. By utilizing grant programs, these professionals can obtain the necessary funds to provide essential resources to those in their community.
Budgets are constantly being reduced and cuts are continuously made in many public services and recreation areas nowadays. This is why grants are a reliable source of funding for many organizations. Securing grants helps fill the gap for aquatic professionals that strive to keep communities safer around all bodies of water.
Step Into Swim is a Pool & Hot Tub Alliance initiative committed to creating more swimmers. Every child deserves access to safe swimming education and the ability to feel confident, inspired, and empowered in the water. Step Into Swim is making waves in the name of drowning prevention and is a go-to resource for water safety.
To date, the Step into Swim program has provided 273,000 swim lessons. Click here to apply.
USA Swimming Learn to Swim Grants
USA Swimming has awarded grants since 2007 to help fund youth learn-to-swim programs. It has done so nationwide via its network of more than 1,600 verified swim lesson providers. In 2022, the USA Swimming awarded $932,000 to youth ($802,000) and adult ($130,000) swim lesson providers. Grants for programs focusing on adult learn-to-swim efforts were awarded for the first time in 2022. This was thanks to a partnership with U.S. Masters Swimming.
Youth Learn To Swim Grants
USA Swimming Youth Learn to Swim Grants are intended to expand existing learn-to-swim programs. It also seeks to support opportunities for children who otherwise would not participate in swimming lessons. This program helps children to acquire the life-saving skill of swimming. The swim lesson program can use the award to offer free or reduced-cost swimming lessons. It can also support transportation costs to/from the swim lesson location(s).
The application window for Youth Learn to Swim Grants runs from mid-October to mid-December. The selected awards are announced in the early spring of the subsequent year. Interested applicants MUST be an approved provider within the Swim Lesson Provider Network prior to December 1. Find more details here.
Adult Learn To Swim Grants
The Adult Learn to Swim Grant Application is open to all swim instructors, facilities, and programs that want to help make more adults safer around water, with a goal to reduce adult drowning risk through education, financial support, and community outreach. The program hopes that once adults learn to swim or improve their swimming skills, they will have the confidence and desire to continue swimming in a Masters Swimming program and experience the lifelong benefits of swimming. Want to apply? Click here.
In accordance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, the CPSC accepts applications for the Pool Safely Grant Program (PSGP). This program provides state and local governments with assistance to help implement enforcement and education programs, with the goal of preventing drownings and drain entrapments in pools & spas.
CPSC awards up to a total of $2 million in two-year grants to assist jurisdictions in reducing deaths and injuries from drowning and drain entrapment incidents in pools and spas. Learn more about this program here.
The Association of Aquatic Professionals has a swim lesson and lifejacket grant program to help aid aquatic facilities in their drowning prevention efforts. The AOAP drowning prevention grant offers funding opportunities for organizations to provide education and awareness of life jacket safety.
The AOAP allocates a minimum of $5,000 for the life jacket and $5,000 for the swim lesson grant program. An annual goal is to provide 100 free lessons to underprivileged participants. It also aims to purchase 500 life jackets annually for organizations to use in their water safety efforts. AOAP members can apply for either the Swim Lesson Grant or the Life Jacket Grant, or both at the same time.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety Water Safety and Swim Lessons Grant
The Missouri Department of Public Safety announced last week the availability of a total of $300,000 in grant funding to provide water safety and swimming lessons to underserved populations.
Eligible grant expenses include personnel costs, including benefits and overtime; training- and travel-related expenses; equipment; and supplies. The projected period for the expenditure of grant funds is from Feb. 1 to May 30, 2023. Applications will be accepted only through the Missouri Department of Public Safety online WebGrants system.
The Benjamin Hair Foundation solicits grants on a rolling basis from organizations that further the mission of the BH-JSL. These grants will primarily be given to groups that hold learn-to-swim programs for “at-risk” youth. School programs, after-school programs, church groups, and others are invited to apply. Other proposals may be considered if they further the mission of the foundation. Click for more information.
The Live Like Jake Foundation’s main mission is to promote childhood drowning awareness and water safety. In order to accomplish this, they encourage Infant Swim Resource (ISR) Self-Rescue® technique swim lessons. They try to help minimize the costs of the lessons for those in financial need by granting scholarships nationwide. Please note that these scholarships are limited to families that truly can’t afford them. Click to apply.
The Judah Brown Project was created to honor Judah Brown, who passed away as the result of a tragic drowning accident. Their mission is to provide funding for infant survival swim instruction and other lifesaving education to families of children ages 6 months – 6 years to help prevent children from drowning. In order to accomplish this, they try to help minimize the costs of the lessons for those in financial need by granting scholarships. Click for more details.
Legislation, Standards, and Codes Resources
For aquatic professionals, the safety of their patrons and staff is paramount. Knowing the legislation and codes pertaining to water safety is essential to ensure a safe environment for everyone. Aquatic professionals must stay up-to-date on changing rules, regulations, and standards to remain compliant with applicable laws.
Resources such as government websites or professional organizations provide valuable information on laws related to water safety. For example, the American Red Cross offers multiple certifications for two years. This ensures that aquatics professionals know about water safety guidelines and practices. Additionally, online training opportunities provide an interactive way for aquatics professionals to stay informed about relevant topics in this field.
Understanding the legal requirements associated with water safety can help aquatic professionals create a safe environment at their pool or facility. It also allows them to protect themselves from potential liabilities. Here are some to get you started:
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is a federal law that establishes design requirements for public and semi-public pools. These are specific requirements for drain covers (grates), drain configurations and anti-entrapment systems in public and semi-public swimming pools and spas. The Act is intended to reduce injuries and deaths associated with suction entrapment hazards in pools and spas.
The Act took effect December 19, 2008. This means that all public and semi-public pools and spas must now be in compliance with the law. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act can be found here.
The Every Child a Swimmer legislation was introduced in March 2021. House Bill 1119 would require school districts to ask the parent of every kindergartner and any child newly entering a school whether or not that child has been taught to swim.
Now, the parents of every child enrolled in school in Florida will be given either electronic or paper access educating them on the importance of teaching their children how to swim and where to find local swimming lessons. Find more details here.
California’s original 1996 Pool Safety Act required all new private swimming pools to be equipped with at least one approved safety measure; a permanent fence, compliant pool cover, door & window alarms, and self-closing door and window devices.
This California pool law was amended in 2006 to include two more pool safety barriers – an ASTM F 2286-05 compliant removable mesh pool fence and an ASTM F 2208-08 pool alarm. The 2018 amendment now requires newly permitted private pools to double up security measures by requiring the pool to be equipped with 2 out of 7 choices of compliant separate safety features. On January 1, 2018 the Pool Safety Act became law. Find out more about it here.
Swimming Pool Safety Act
The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act in Florida (Chapter 515, Florida Statutes) requires pool safety measures for pools built after October 1, 2000. The Legislature intends that all new residential swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs be equipped with at least one pool safety feature.
The International Swimming Pool & Spa Code® contains everything a pool contractor needs to make a pool safe so it can operate efficiently. It sets the minimum standard for pool and spa safety by substantially reducing the risk of child drowning through introducing or enhancing requirements for residential pools and spas. The adoption of the ISPSC can reduce drowning accidents by requiring barriers, compliant design, and slopes for entry and exit, working towards eliminating entrapment incidents once and for all, and ensuring that pools and spas are built using approved and safe materials.
In states with no children’s life jacket law in place, a U.S. Coast Guard interim rule is applied. The rule requires children under 13 on moving boats to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket that fits.
Even though some laws provide boaters with the minimum age for a child to wear a life jacket, a parent must decide if a child should wear one, even when the law does not require one.
Aquatics professionals have a duty to protect the safety of those in their care. Knowing the available resources is essential for providing a safe environment for every aquatic activity.
Water safety experts recommend utilizing various resources from multiple sources to ensure the best possible water safety measures are taken. Aquatic professionals should stay up-to-date on the latest research and regulations concerning water activities and take advantage of the information available online, in professional journals, and books about aquatics activities and water safety.
Additionally, aquatic professionals should attend classes offered by certified instructors or organizations to stay abreast of current best practices and new techniques related to programming, education, and emergency preparedness.
The NDPA Resource Center strives to improve access to relevant information by collecting, categorizing and organizing materials that are useful to all members of the aquatics industry and drowning prevention advocates.
This tool contains the following features:
NDPA Partner Directory
Drowning Prevention & Water Safety Resource Directory
Sharable Drowning Prevention Social Media Content
Resources for Task Forces & Coalitions
An Index of Drowning Prevention & Water Safety Literature containing over 300 entries
An Index of over 60 Regional, State, and National Water Safety, Drowning, and Injury Databases
NDPA & National Water Safety Conference Media Library
One of the main goals of the Association of Aquatic Professionals is to provide drowning prevention education to aquatic professionals, operators of swimming pools and facilities as well as the general public. To accomplish this goal, the association will offer opportunities for the general public to attend drowning prevention education sessions and attend a specified time period during our annual trade show at no cost to meet with both professionals and vendors in the field of aquatics.
Find more educational resources and materials here.
Pool Safely’s educational materials make it simple to share information about water safety that could save a life. The variety of items and materials they offer can be distributed at public pools and spas so they can be shared with friends and neighbors. Have a look at their educational materials catalog here.
PHTA and GENESIS education programs are designed to provide you with timely, relevant, and engaging expert advice and information on the industry and management issues you encounter daily. They offer a variety of delivery methods, from physical schools to on-demand training. They also have an ongoing Webinar Series and an Education Partner Program.
You can choose from 10 subject categories to find the courses most relevant to your needs here.
The NDPA’s annual flagship event has a long and storied history. Starting out as a small symposium in 2001, the National Water Safety Conference boasts four days of education, training, and networking in addition to a robust lineup of speakers.
This annual event is the gathering place of multiple different sectors, stakeholders, and advocates, all of who believe “Drowning IS Preventable”.
In 2023 and 2024, the National Water Safety Conference will be co-hosted with The Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP). The annual Association of Aquatic Professionals Conference & Expo and the National Water Safety Conference presented by the NDPA will operate side-by-side at the same location beginning in February of 2023. The first event will take place at The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, February 13-16, 2023.
The U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan is in the process of being developed by the water safety and drowning prevention community. The planning process pulls knowledge and experience from key stakeholders across the U.S. to create a comprehensive, evidence-based, realistic, and excitable plan.
The Steering Committee for the National Water Safety Action Plan comprises a passionate group of stakeholders and influencers from organizations with water safety and drowning prevention as part of their mission. The Steering Committee is charged with providing strategic oversight and guidance in developing the action plan, including supporting the activities of the working groups.
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Commercial Aquatics Professionals and their facilities are in a unique position to advocate for water safety. With their experience in working with children and families in both educational and recreational settings, they can quickly deliver essential messages about water safety to populations of all ages and ability levels.
We recognize the enormous work that goes into running and maintaining a commercial aquatic facility. It’s essential to make communicating critical water safety messages easy, which is why we launched the Water Safety Champion Program, which includes all the latest in drowning prevention information, free downloadable facility tools, and resources.
What is a Water Safety Champion?
Despite our collective and tireless efforts, drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. While young children are at the highest risk, anyone can drown.
To address the rise in drowning incidents, we have launched a Water Safety Champion Program providing the latest resources and education about the best water safety practices available to help prevent unintentional drowning and aquatic injuries. The water safety information covered in the 5 Layers of Protection resulted from years of research and collaboration with Alliance Partners and advisors.
Why Should Commercial Aquatics Professionals Become Water Safety Champions?
Although most drownings don’t happen at commercial aquatic facilities, they are still critical to bringing awareness to water safety in their communities and clients. Drownings can still happen anywhere in or near water, including pools, bathtubs, lakes, rivers – even buckets of water.
By learning about the best water safety strategies through the Layers of Protection, and the Water Safety Champion program, commercial aquatics professionals can show patrons they care while playing a vital role in keeping their community safe in and around water.
When Commercial Aquatics Professionals Become Water Safety Champions:
After sign-up, commercial aquatics professionals will receive exclusive access to NDPA’s Commercial Aquatics Toolkit which includes:
A personal Water Safety Champion Certificate showcasing their advocacy for water safety
A Water Safety Champion Facility Poster to display in their aquatic facility
Various tools and resources like:
Printable Water Watcher Cards
GIFs & Stickers
The Layers of Protection Digital Brochure & Animated Video
Shareable Social Media Posts & Videos
By implementing the Layers of Protection and sharing their Water Safety Champion Status, commercial aquatics facilities can help protect the lives of children and work together to spread the word about drowning prevention and water safety to their patrons.
While many commercial aquatic facilities face challenging times due to COVID-19, staffing shortages, and new regulations, we hope this program will support their continued efforts in drowning prevention and water safety!
https://ndpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/WSC-for-Commercial-Aquatic-Pros.png415738Morgan Hoefthttps://ndpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/NDPA_Logo_RGB_ForWeb.pngMorgan Hoeft2022-11-09 11:37:112023-02-09 17:00:34How Commercial Aquatics Professionals Can Become Water Safety Champions – Nov 2022
(OVERLAND PARK, KS) – As families converge on aquatic centers, pools, splash pads, waterparks, and open bodies of water for recreational water activities this Memorial Day weekend, it is vital to ensure safety is a priority for all people. The National Water Safety Month campaign supporters offer six important tips and reminders for parents and caregivers about safer water practices.
As you enjoy time in and around water this summer, keep these six water safety tips in mind:
Capable & Constant Supervision – Actively supervise children and non-swimmers around the water, even when lifeguards are present. Don’t just drop kids off. Avoid distracting activities such as checking email or social media. Drowning is quick and silent.
Water Competency – No matter your age, learning to swim and survive in the water is one of the best ways to be safer in and around the water.
Prevent Unsupervised Access To Water –Barriers and alarms help prevent access to water during non-swim times. Almost 70% of toddler drownings occur during non-swim times. Four sided fencing with a self-closing self-latching gate helps prevent unplanned access.
Swim With A Buddy – Do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system.
Wear A Life Jacket – Adults and kids should always wear a properly-fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating. Non-swimmers and inexperienced swimmers should also always wear a life jacket when in and around the water. Inflatable toys can be fun but are not a substitute for U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
Be Prepared For Emergencies – Learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies by learning CPR.
About National Water Safety Month
National Water Safety Month is a joint effort of the American Red Cross, the National Recreation and Park Association, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and the World Waterpark Association. Joining the NWSM partnership in 2022 is the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of drowning and preventing tragedy around water.
These organizations honor National Water Safety Month in May, along with thousands of aquatics facilities and professionals, through educational programs, public service announcements, governmental proclamations, dealer and aquatics business promotions and the distribution of water-safety-themed materials, aimed primarily at the public and designed to help prevent drowning and water-related illness and injuries.
Detailed information and free resources in support of National Water Safety Month, for both consumers and businesses, can be found at www.nationalwatersafetymonth.org. Connect with National Water Safety Month on Facebook (@watersafetymonth).
Laura Metro Marketing & Communication Director National Drowning Prevention Alliance Laura.email@example.com
Jessica Howard Vice President, Marketing Pool & Hot Tub Alliance firstname.lastname@example.org
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By becoming an NDPA member (Basic or Premium) you or your organization will be contributing to the NDPA’s overall mission to prevent drowning and gain access to resources that advance drowning prevention. Drowning IS Preventable, and with your membership and support, we can work together to help save lives.
Organizational partners of the NDPA are the backbone of our organization. The National Drowning Prevention Alliance is very excited to partner with your organization or company and work together for the common goal of ZERO drownings. As the NDPA starts a new phase of growth as an organization we welcome the opportunity to seek out new partners that will be help the NDPA on this journey to provide educational resources, increase water safety, and expand our impact towards water safety and drowning prevention for people of all ages and walks of life.
Make the NDPA your Amazon Smile and each time you make an eligible purchase on Amazon the NDPA will receive a percentage of your purchase total as a donation. It’s as simple as clicking the link below to make the NDPA your Amazon Smile. Shop and support the NDPA at the same time!
The NDPA also relies on donations from our members, friends, and supporters to continue our work. With your support we can continue to bring people, groups, and leaders together to prevent drownings. Remember our mission – “Together WE can PREVENT the tragedy of drowning!”
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Diversity in Aquatics CEO Miriam Lynch, Communications and Engagement Director Danielle Veira, and Strategist and Social Innovator Michael Golden Join Board Of National Water Safety Nonprofit
GREENWICH, CT – September 16, 2020 – The ZAC Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving water safety by funding advocacy, education, and effective programming to safeguard children and their families, today announced the appointment of three new Board members: Diversity in Aquatics CEO Miriam Lynch, communications and engagement director Danielle Veira, and strategist and social innovator Michael Golden. The appointments are effective immediately.
“We are pleased to welcome Miriam, Danielle and Michael to our Board, and look forward to having their invaluable perspectives and leadership,” said Karen Cohn, co-founder of The ZAC Foundation, which has provided water safety programming to more than 20,000 children in at-risk communities nationwide and is spearheading the development of drowning prevention plans in four U.S. communities in the hopes of reducing the national drowning rate. “Each of them will serve a key role as we continue our work to prepare children and their families for a lifetime of water safety.”
Lynch is an advocate for increasing aquatic opportunities and water safety education to all. She collaborates with several aquatic organizations to raise awareness, create community partnerships, and develop solutions to reduce the “drowning gap.” As the CEO of Diversity in Aquatics, Lynch, along with a team of volunteers, works to educate, promote, and support swimming, water safety, and healthy aquatic activities in traditionally underrepresented populations.
“I am excited to join the Board of The ZAC Foundation, which is committed to creating equitable opportunities in aquatics by increasing access to swim lessons and water safety education for children and families in communities that have been impacted by historical and social barriers,” said Lynch.
Veira is the director of communications and engagement at A Better Chicago, a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund fighting poverty by investing in opportunities for Black and Latinx low-income youth. She leads the organization’s strategic communications, digital marketing, and thought leadership efforts. Prior to moving to Chicago, Veira spent more than a decade in Washington, DC working in nonprofit communications, most recently as the senior manager of public relations and advocacy communications at the American Diabetes Association.
“It is an honor to be appointed to the Board of The ZAC Foundation,” said Veira. “I have been inspired and impressed by the Foundation’s work for years and lucky enough to see the impact ZAC Camps make firsthand. Children who look like me face a variety of disparities whether it’s access to health care, quality education or water safety training. As a child of the Caribbean and a lover of swimming myself, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work alongside my fellow Board members to further the Foundation’s outstanding work to eradicate systemic inequities related to water safety and drowning prevention.”
A social entrepreneur, former award-winning journalist, campaign strategist and political reformer, Golden is president of Golden Mean Strategies in Chicago. He has dedicated the bulk of his career to launching social enterprises that create opportunity in underserved communities. In 2006, he co-founded One Million Degrees, a breakthrough scholarship support program that has empowered more than 1,800 low-income community college students to succeed in school, work and life.
“Joining the Board of The ZAC Foundation is more than an honor for me — it is personal. I loved Zachary, and the entire Cohn family is like my own family. I am tremendously proud and in awe of what they have built in Zach’s name: a huge-hearted water safety organization that works to save lives in every corner of this country. It will be a genuine thrill to contribute to their mission as a new member of the Board of Directors,” said Golden.
About The ZAC Foundation
The ZAC Foundation was established in 2008 by Karen and Brian Cohn after the loss of their 6-year-old son Zachary Archer Cohn in a pool drain entrapment in their backyard swimming pool. Through education and advocacy, the Foundation has educated more than 20,000 children and their families on the importance of water safety and is dedicated to continue preparing more for a lifetime of water safety. To learn more about The ZAC Foundation, connect with the organization on Facebook and TheZACFoundation.org.
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The mission of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance is: “United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning.” We believe that together we can reduce the incidence of drowning and aquatic injuries in the US and abroad. Join us to help save lives!
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