Tag Archive for: prevent drowning

National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) Assembles Experts Across Disciplines to Address the Critical Issue of Childhood Drowning.

SAN DIEGO, September 15, 2022 – On September 13-14, 2022 the National Drowning Prevention Alliance hosted the industry’s first research summit solely dedicated to water safety and drowning prevention for children and adolescents – a critical issue and the single leading cause of death among children ages 1-4 years old.


The National Childhood Drowning Prevention Research Summit was held in San Diego, California and brought together more than 45 researchers and experts from across the country and internationally who have dedicated their careers to the safety and well-being of children.

Hosted by NDPA and moderated by Doyle Strategies, which has led similar summits on child and gun safety, the group included professionals from the governmental, academic, medical, public health and private sectors, including representatives from American Academy Pediatrics, American Red Cross, YMCA, Harvard University, Baylor University, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and other leading organizations and advocates.


“The body of data available for drowning prevention has been historically weak leaving us to use best practices instead of evidence-informed approaches,” said Adam Katchmarchi, Ph.D., M.S., Executive Director, NDPA. “Our goal is to change that and bring all stakeholders together to collaborate on a unified research agenda.”

During the two-day meeting, summit participants discussed the research gaps in the literature surrounding childhood drowning prevention and water safety and prioritized a short- and long-term research agenda based on need and feasibility, while fostering unity among the industry sectors represented.


“It was incredible to see all of the national leaders in child drowning prevention gathered in one room, working together to address this epidemic,” said Ben Hoffman, M.D., Chief Medical Advisor, NDPA and Professor of Pediatrics, Oregon Health & Science University. “There is so much we do not know about how to prevent drowning, and the issue has never received the attention warranted by the magnitude of the problem. It was amazing to see how the group really dug in and did the hard work to ask the right questions and identify the key issues and potential solutions. This was a crucial first step in the process
of preventing drowning among kids.”


With focused discussions on the existing data and science, and actionable work needed to define future research directions and priorities to advance policy and prevention efforts, the summit program included a networking session and a review of research currently underway at CDC. Small, collaborative, interprofessional groups also assessed research needs around four of the established preventive layers of protection – barriers, supervision, water competency, and life jackets.

“I think a better understanding of all of the circumstances around drowning in every environment is going to be critical in order to develop, implement and evaluate drowning prevention strategies,” said Lois Lee, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School. “

Following the summit, an evidence review and preliminary conclusions will be compiled and shared with both research and non-research-related qualified stakeholders to weigh in on the results and outcomes.

Post event stakeholder engagement will be conducted via focus groups, interviews, and survey with the goal of gaining insight into areas of consensus and disagreement on proposed research priorities. An overall research summit summary report, in addition to summary reports on identified themes, will be released by NDPA among stakeholder groups.

The Drowning Prevention Research Summit was made possible through the generous funding of the Chuck & Ernestina Kreutzkamp Foundation.

About National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA)
The mission of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance is “United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning.” Through education, awareness, and advocacy, NDPA seeks to reduce the incidence of drowning and aquatic injuries in the United States and abroad and to address the single leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4. To learn more, visit ndpa.org.

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The threat of drowning continues even after summer ends. With the cooler weather and the holiday season right around the corner, it’s easy to forget that water safety is still important. But drownings don’t take a break just because the temperature dips. The risk of drowning doesn’t go away when kids return to school. In fact, drownings occur just as frequently in the fall and winter months during family gatherings and vacation trips as they do in the summer. 

As the cooler months come around, ensure your child’s swimming skills are up to par. Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about swim lessons. Year-round swim lessons are the key for your child to reinforce the skills they have learned. Year-round swim lessons allow kids to keep their water skills fresh and top of mind, allowing them to hone all their water competency knowledge throughout the year. 

Swim Lessons Are an Essential Layer Of Protection Against Drowning

Swim lessons are an essential layer of protection needed to help prevent unintentional drowning incidents. 

In 2009, Dr. Ruth Brenner and her colleagues at the National Institute of Child Health and Development published a study stating that swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children ages 1 to 4 by 88%. This statement is significant because this age group is at the highest risk of drowning in a swimming pool. The study found that swimming lessons can help children learn how to swim and be more comfortable in the water, reducing the risk of drowning.

This study has been cited multiple times in several articles and posts regarding drowning prevention and water safety. Please note that this research had a small sample size and the 95% confidence intervals regarding the protective effects were 3%-99%. It also stated that “swimming skills alone are insufficient to protect a child from drowning.”

Learning to swim is but one of the several layers of protection needed to reduce children’s drowning risk. Parents must know they cannot rely on just one layer of protection to keep kids safe. Nothing, not even swim lessons, can drown-proof a child. All layers must be implemented simultaneously to effectively reduce the risk of drowning incidents from taking place.

Kids are safer in water when they have multiple layers of protection in place. The layers include swimming lessons and aids such as life jackets, bubble covers, and pool fences. Kids need more than one layer of protection to be safe in pools and spas – including swimming lessons taught by a professional swim instructor.

Swimming Lessons & Water Competency

A national survey conducted for the Red Cross in 2020 revealed that people believe themselves to be better swimmers than they really are. The survey also found that of the 85 percent of Americans who said they could swim, only 56 percent could perform all five basic skills (also known as water competency) that might help keep them safe in the water.

According to the American Red Cross, there are three main components to water competency: water smarts, swimming skills, and helping others.

Water smarts involve knowing well what your limitations are in the water and what to do (or not do) to avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation when in the water, like wearing a US coast guard approved life vest, understanding how weather conditions can impact water safety and how to call for help.

The following are the basic swimming skills needed to be safe in the water:

  • Step or jump into the water over your head.
  • Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute.
  • Turn around in a full circle and find an exit.
  • Swim 25 yards to the exit.
  • Exit from the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

Helping others means you know what to do should an emergency occur, like knowing how to assist a drowning victim and learning CPR with rescue breaths.

Any swim program you choose for your child should cover the three components of water competency. They will give your child the tools they need if they accidentally fall into the water unsupervised.

When to Start Swim Lessons

Swim lessons aren’t just about teaching children how to be safe around water — they’re also teaching parents how to do the same.

In 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its water safety guidelines to recommend children start swimming lessons around age 1 to help reduce the risks of drowning. The more comfortable a child is in water, the fewer their chances of drowning; the earlier they’re comfortable, the better.

Parents must remember that learning to swim is but one of the layers of protection that need to be implemented to prevent drowning. Even though learning to swim allows children to be aware of drowning hazards, it does not make them immune to the perils of drowning. Indeed, nothing can drown-proof a child.

Finding the right swim programs for kids isn’t just about your child’s age or experience levels; it’s also about you being comfortable with the facility, instructors, and technique. Things that make a swim lesson program a good fit for you and your child will also vary by age. When choosing the program that best fits your child and your family, be sure to factor in your decision the emotional maturity of your child, their physical and developmental abilities and limitations, and their current comfort level when in the water.

Drowning is preventable when children learn proper water safety skills.

Drowning is a preventable tragedy that occurs far too often, especially in young children. But when kids learn the appropriate water safety skills, they can stay safe around pools, lakes, oceans, and anywhere there is water.

Swim lessons are an excellent way for children to learn about water safety. For starters, they’ll learn how to stay afloat and what they must do if they find themselves in a dangerous situation like accidentally falling into the water.

And while no one can completely prevent accidents, knowing the proper safety techniques can mean the difference between life and death. So make sure your child is enrolled in swim lessons all year long, regardless of the season – it could save their life.

Being a water safety champion all year long

Summer is a great time to be outside and enjoy the sun and warm weather.  However, it is also the time of year when most drownings occur, so it is important to be proactive when it comes to water safety.  To address the rise in drowning incidents the NDPA launched its Water Safety Champion program which provides resources and education to help prevent drownings.

By becoming a Water Safety Champion you can let everybody know that you are invested in the safety and wellbeing of your entire community.  How?  By promoting the best water safety practices that help prevent unintentional drowning incidents.

Even though drowning is a leading cause of death for children aged 1-4, it is also completely preventable.  This is why it’s essential to prevent drowning incidents year round.

Drowning can happen anywhere there is water – a pool, bathtub, lake, river, or even a bucket of water.  Drowning can also occur at any time or season, making becoming a Water Safety Champion much more critical.  It is a life-long commitment that allows no breaks, no matter what time of year.

So let’s get started!

Make it Official: sign up to become a Water Safety Champion.

Who Can Be A Water Safety Champion?

Everyone can and should become a Water Safety Champion.

Drowning doesn’t discriminate between race, gender or age. It can happen to the best of parents in the best of families any time there is access to water. 

By becoming a Water Safety Champion you will:

  1. Promote water safety best practices in your community and help ensure everyone knows how to stay safe around water.
  2. Teach children never to go near or enter the water without an adult present. 
  3. If you see someone in trouble in the water call for help, and if you are able jump in and save them yourself – every second counts when someone is drowning.

Just go on over to ndpa.org/champion/#championform and sign up. Download your certificate, fill it out and print it to officially become a Water Safety Champion.

Businesses and Organizations can also become Water Safety Champions.

As you know, construction of backyard pools is on the rise – 2020 saw a record 23% increase in ownership. While this statistic is an undeniable win for the industry, it also brings tragedy. Drowning incidents among children have also increased.  

Becoming a Water Safety Champion is a smart business decision, showing current and future clients your commitment to water safety.   Show your potential clients know you are more than just a business to them. You’re a partner providing them peace of mind and helping them enjoy their pool or spa to the fullest. Sign up today!

What Do I Have To Do When I Become A Water Safety Champion?

Learn and implement layers of protection

As we said before, drowning is preventable, but specific strategies are needed to ensure that our kids remain safe when in or near water. These strategies are known as layers of protection.

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.

Drowning happens quickly and quietly, so no single layer of safety is enough. Multiple layers are necessary to help reduce the risk. This means that the following strategies are to be used constantly and simultaneously to help keep children safe:

●       Barriers

Since you can’t always be around to keep an eye on your pool or spa, it’s important to use physical barriers to restrict unauthorized access. This layer of protection comes into play in the pool or spa’s entire surrounding area and the water.

Four-sided fencing with self-closing, self-latching gates, door and window alarms, and safety covers can help make sure kids don’t get to the water unsupervised.

●       Supervision

Whether you’re using your pool or not, it’s always important to know where young children are and never leave them unattended. Close, constant, and capable adult supervision anytime children are in or around water is paramount to avoid drowning incidents.

●       Water Competency

Parents and caregivers should equip every child and adult with the skills to protect themselves in water. With the proper instruction, children can gain the competence, confidence, and respect they need to create a life-long love for the water.

Ensure every family member learns to swim, so they at least achieve the following skills of water competency:

  • Step or jump into the water over their head.
  • Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute.
  • Turn around in a full circle and find an exit.
  • Swim 25 yards to the exit.
  • Exit from the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

●       Life Jackets

Use life jackets when appropriate. Life jackets protect you when you’re not expecting to be in the water, especially around open water and while boating. All life jackets should be tested and approved by the USCG.

●       Emergency Preparation

Drowning is silent and happens fast. Knowing CPR (w/ rescue breaths) and basic water rescue can make the difference between life and death.

Using all layers of protection together is the only way to reduce the risk of drowning. You never know which layer will save a life.

Know the signs of drowning

It is essential to know what drowning looks like so that we can react swiftly and avert any sad outcomes.

Most people do not know that most drowning victims never have the chance to call for help. Drowning is fast and silent. That is why we must always be attentive to any signs of distress when children or adults are in the water. Swimmers in trouble or distress must be rescued quickly to avoid a tragedy.

Here are the signs that someone might be drowning that you should be on the look-out for:

●       The head instinctively tilts back as they try to keep the airways clear of water, and the body is in a vertical position

●       They usually face the shore in open water such as a lake, river, or beach.

●       There are signs of movement but no signs of progress in the water.

●       The arms are out to the side, pressing downward.

●       There may be a ladder-climbing motion, hands out of the water, or maybe lightly breaking the surface.

●       There is a wide-eyed, panicked expression on their face as they gasp for air.

Once it becomes clear that someone is drowning or in distress, take action and scream for a lifeguard or someone to help.  Whatever you do, do not put yourself in any sort of danger in the process. 

Source: https://www.kenoshaymca.org/2022/06/06/know-look-of-drowning/

Use and Share Water Safety Educational Resources

Water safety education aims to prevent drowning incidents by teaching kids, teens, and even adults how to be safe near and in the water. Water safety education also includes learning what to do should an accident take place. This knowledge can certainly make the difference between fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents.

Ideally, children’s water safety education should begin at home, and as early as possible.  Children younger than school age can begin to learn many water safety basics.  You can start by using some of these fun and free resources.

If you are a teacher, we encourage you to find ways to add water safety education to your curriculum here.

Avoid using misnomers

There are certain terms related to drowning that are commonly used in the media, and hence by the public, that shouldn’t be.

Terms such as ‘dry,’ ‘wet,’ ‘near,’ ‘silent,’ and ‘secondary’ drowning are all misnomers that should not be used when speaking of drowning incidents.

Using inconsistent, inaccurate, or medically inappropriate terms can have the unnecessary effect of instilling fear in the public and causing the wrong diagnosis for real medical issues. According to the World Health Organization, “… Effective prevention of drowning requires programs and policies that address known risk factors”, for which “… a simple but comprehensive definition is needed.”

So, in order to indeed face the problem of drowning successfully, we must refrain from using terms that are misleading and compel others to do the same, starting with the media. There is a common practice of promoting specific flotation devices as aids and protection for children when they are in the water. This is far from the case and should be addressed so that those types of messages are no longer shared or are more accurately worded, at least. It is to this end that the NDPA has created the End The Misinformation Letter.

Advocate for water safety in your community

Harness all your water safety knowledge and share it with other members of your community. Create community task forces and help make your community safer!

By learning and spreading the word about water safety and drowning prevention, you can help save lives. Water safety is everyone’s responsibility. Take the pledge to be a Water Safety Champion today and help spread the word about water safety and drowning prevention. United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning!

Become a Water Safety Champion today!

NDPA Joins National Water Safety Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Swim With A Buddy – Do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Aleatha Ezra
Director of Park Member Development
World Waterpark Association
aezra@waterparks.org

Cort Jones
Communications Manager
National Recreation and Park Association
cjones@nrpa.org

Don Lauritzen
Communications Officer
American Red Cross
media@redcross.org  

Laura Metro
Marketing & Communication Director
National Drowning Prevention Alliance
Laura.metro@ndpa.org

Jessica Howard
Vice President, Marketing
Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
jhoward@phta.org

Bathing is a part of our daily routine. It’s not uncommon for us to forget to take proper precautions while we or our children are in the bathroom. This is also considered one of the most dangerous rooms in our home. January is National Bath Safety Month which makes it the perfect time to do what is needed to minimize the risk of injury and drowning in the bath. 

An estimated 87 children die each year from drownings at home. Two-thirds of these incidents took place in the bath. Remember a drowning can occur in as little as two inches of water. These incidents can be prevented if you implement layers of protection at home.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips to help prevent incidents in the bath:

Supervision:

Children can drown in only a few inches of water, so never leave a young child alone in the bath, even for a moment. If you can’t ignore the doorbell or the phone, wrap your child in a towel and take him along when you go to answer them. Bath seats and rings are meant to be bathing aids and will not prevent drowning if the child is left unattended. Never leave water in the bathtub when it is not in use. It’s also important to have anything and everything you think you’ll need within arm’s reach before​ getting down to business.  

Slips and falls

Install no-slip strips on the bottom of the bathtub. Put a cushioned cover over the water faucet so your child won’t be hurt if he bumps his head against it. Get in the habit of closing the lid of the toilet, and get a toilet lid lock. A curious toddler who tries to play in the water can lose his balance and fall in.

Water temperature

To prevent scalding, adjust your water heater so the hottest temperature at the faucet is no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius). Test the water with your wrist or elbow to check that it feels warm, not hot. When your child is old enough to turn the faucets, teach him to start the cold water before the hot.

Medicine and toiletry storage

Keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Remember, however, that these caps are child-resistant, not childproof, so store all medicines and cosmetics high and out of reach in a locked cabinet. Don’t keep toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, and other frequently used items in the same cabinet. Instead, store them in a hard-to-reach cabinet equipped with a safety latch or locks.

Electric appliances

If you use electrical appliances in the bathroom, particularly hair dryers and razors, be sure to unplug them and store them in a cabinet with a safety lock when they aren’t in use. It is better to use them in another room where there is no water. An electrician can install special bathroom wall sockets (ground-fault circuit interrupters) that can lessen the likelihood of electrical injury when an appliance falls into the sink or bathwater.

NDPA Launches New Brand, Website & Campaign

Despite all of our collective tireless efforts, drowning is still the single leading cause of death for children 1-4. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of 2018 drowning has surpassed birth defects as the most common cause of death in this age group. However, our theme for our 2020 conference still applies…Drowning won’t stop, so neither will we!

To rise and meet this challenge, the NDPA will launch a refreshed brand, new website, and new campaign! We will officially unveil our new brand and website on Monday, November 15! Then, we will launch our new campaign focused on backyard pool and spa safety on Tuesday, November 16 at the International Pool, Spa, Patio and Deck Expo in Dallas, TX. Below are details about the new programs.

National Drowning Prevention Alliance

Branding Refresh

The NDPA’s mission is “United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning”, and our vision is to become the top destination for drowning prevention education in the United States. As we mature and enter into our next phase of growth, our leadership has decided to ensure that NDPA’s brand and image reflect the seriousness and importance of the issues we are working to solve. Our refreshed look is centered on a blue pallet of colors. The color blue represents responsibility, sincerity, professionalism, stability, and intelligence; all of which are core values of the NDPA. In the coming weeks we will be making new member, partner, supporter, and sponsor logos available via our online resource center and through email NDPA communications.

NDPA - National Drowning Prevention Alliance - MEMBER
NDPA - National Drowning Prevention Alliance - PARTNER

New Website

To better meet the various audiences we serve, the NDPA will launch a new website. Our new website is designed to give our users the information and resources that they need the most. Parents and professionals will have dedicated areas with critical tools, knowledge, and resources to best meet their needs. The NDPA members and partners will continue to have quick and easy access to the NDPA Resource Center and programs in a new dedicated area of the new website. Additional resources and expanded tools will also be launching in the coming months.


Water Safety Champion

Water Safety Champions

The pool and spa industry has reported growth of 20%+ since the start of the 2020 and layers of protection are critical to backyard safety. In response, the NDPA will be launching a new campaign focused on championing safety in backyard pool and spa environments. We are launching first phase of this exciting campaign will launch at the International Pool, Spa, Patio, and Deck Expo in Dallas, TX. Our focus will be focused on supporting and working with pool and spa industry professionals to enhance consumer water safety education in a positive and proactive way. Pool and spa professionals will have the first opportunity to sign up to become Water Safety Champions and join us on the mission to save lives!


Know The Layers Of Protection

The NDPA is dedicated to reducing drowning and enhancing water safety in the US. As an alliance of parents, professionals, advocates, researchers, and leaders, the organization is focused on impacting the staggering statistics of this preventable injury. Remember, drowning IS preventable!

Best regards,

Team NDPA

NDPA & AOAP Team Up For The 2023 & 2024 Conferences!

Joint announcement from the Association of Aquatic Professionals and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance

The Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP) and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) are excited to announce the co-location of their flagship conferences in 2023 and 2024. 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.

“By co-locating the conferences, the two associations will provide a one-stop shop for all aquatic professionals and advocates, with the ability to learn from each other’s experiences and move closer to the ultimate goal of drowning prevention by providing safe aquatic experiences for all,” said Juliene Hefter, the executive director of the AOAP.

ABOUT AOAP’S CONFERENCE: For over a decade, the AOAP Conference has earned a reputation as the premier educational gathering for aquatic professionals, drawing over 800 attendees, including health inspectors, building-code officials, aquatic-facility managers, and others. This dynamic event provides attendees with the latest technical, practical, and hands-on education designed to improve drowning prevention, aquatic programming, team leadership and training, risk management, technical operations, and overall facility management.

ABOUT NDPA’S CONFERENCE: The NDPA’s annual flagship event has a long and storied history. Starting out as a small symposium in 2001, the newly rebranded National Water Safety Conference boast four days of education, training, and networking in addition to a robust line up of speakers. This annual event is the gathering place of multiple different sectors, stakeholders, and advocates all who believe “Drowning IS Preventable”.

“The natural pairing of the NDPA and AOAP’s events at one singular location is a win for everyone in water safety. Both organization’s attendees play a key and active role in drowning prevention and water safety in the US and beyond. Co-locating the conferences over the same dates and at the same location will provide unimaginable collaboration and innovation,” said Dr. Adam Katchmarchi, executive director of the NDPA.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to register for both conferences at discounted rates. The conferences will share a combined exhibit hall, some educational sessions, and numerous other cross-over events such as an all-conference social.

For more information, please contact:

Juliene Heftner
Executive Director, AOAP
juliene@aquaticpros.org

Adam Katchmarchi
Executive Director, NDPA
adam@ndpa.org

British Swim School Partners With Leading Drowning Prevention Organization

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — British Swim School, the nation’s leading “learn to swim” franchise company, is excited to announce its partnership with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, an organization with the goal of reducing the incidence of drowning and aquatic injuries in the United States and abroad.

British Swim School is the first franchise swim school to join with the NDPA in this mission and plans to use its vast resources to further education about drowning and aquatic injuries.

“The NDPA shares our core mission, which is educating the community about drowning prevention and survival skills,” said Melissa McGarvey, Director of Aquatics for British Swim School. “We are excited about this partnership because it will allow us to share information developed by our combined team of experts. This will only make us stronger as we work to spread the important message of water safety and decreasing avoidable drownings.”

The NDPA organizes swim safety education events on a national and international level and also offers swim safety tips and other educational materials online.

“British Swim School truly has a mission of keeping people in the community safe around water,” said Adam Katchmarchi, Executive Director of the NDPA. “They have locations across the country, so we thought they would be the perfect swim school to team up with. We are eager to see what we can accomplish with a collective effort.”

British Swim School, a premier swim school franchise, launched in England in 1981. It was then brought to the U.S. and Canada and eventually grew to more than 200 locations.

Research shows that participation in formal swim programs, such as those offered by British Swim School, can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children who are most at risk for accidental death by drowning. Students are placed in classes based on skill level.

For more information, visit https://www.britishswimschool.com.

About British Swim School

British Swim School’s mission is to teach water safety and survival skills to children as young as 3 months old. Rita Goldberg founded British Swim School in 1981 and developed the unique and highly effective teaching methods that are a recognized trademark of the brand today. Acquired by Buzz Franchise Brands in early 2019, British Swim School is the latest addition to the Buzz Franchise Brands family, which includes Pool Scouts, a pool cleaning and maintenance company, and Home Clean Heroes, a residential cleaning company. British Swim School currently operates over 215 schools across the United States and Canada. For more information about British Swim School, visit https://www.britishswimschool.com. To learn more about the benefits of British Swim School’s franchising opportunities, visit https://britishswimschoolfranchise.com/. For more information about Buzz Franchise Brands, visit https://www.buzzfranchisebrands.com/

About NDPA

The mission of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) 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 United States and abroad. Join us to help save lives! To learn more about the NDPA, please visit https://www.NDPA.org. To learn more about our annual national conference, please visit https://www.WaterSafetyConference.com.

Media Contact

Mandy Cline, 919 Marketing, 919-377-9587, mcline@919marketing.com

SOURCE British Swim School

Facts About The Worlds Largest Swimming Lesson 2021
  • Millions of children missed the opportunity to participate in formal swimming lessons last season due to the pandemic, creating an urgent need for water safety training and swim lessons this summer. TEAM WLSL™ is getting back on deck to send the message Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ to help prevent childhood drowning and teach families how to Be Water Aware.  
  • The 2021 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson will offer hundreds of aquatic centers, swim schools and waterparks the chance to focus in on the urgency of getting kids back in the water for formal swim lessons to help make up for the lessons and water safety training they missed in 2020.
  • What is exciting about the WLSL event is that so many organizations and individual aquatic facilities are coming together to make it happen. The WLSL helps capture all the passion we have for this critical issue as individuals and focuses all that energy on one message for one day.
  • Drowning is a public health crisis. In the U.S., it’s the leading cause of accidental death for kids ages 1-4 and the second leading cause for kids 14 and under. Yet, a large percentage of adults don’t recognize this risk or provide the right layers of protection to prevent drowning.
  • Internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. 
  • According to a 2020 research study conducted by the American Red Cross, more than half (54%) of U.S. kids ages 4-17 are not able to perform the basic water safety skills that can save their life.
  • More drowning and near drowning incidents take place in the U.S during the month of June than any other month of the year.
  • According to a 2018 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), from 2015 through 2017, an estimated average of 6,400 children younger than 15 years old were reportedly treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal drowning injuries in pools or spas.
  • Nearly 80% of drowning victims are male.  Also, African-American children ages 5 to 19 drown at rates 5.5 times higher than Caucasian children. This disparity is greatest among those 11-12 years where African Americans drown in swimming pools at rates 10 times those of Caucasians.
  • Drowning is predictable, incredibly fast and quiet: Most children who drown are out of sight for less than 5 minutes. Drowning can occur in as little as two minutes and victims do not signal for help. In addition, 70% of drownings happen during non-swim times.
  • Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons by kids ages 1-4 can significantly reduce the risk of drowning, yet many children still do not participate in formal water safety training or swimming lessons.
  • The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson was created in 2010 as a platform to support public education about safer water practices and to build awareness about the critical importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. 
  • Since its inception, more than 320,000 children and adults have participated in life-saving WLSL lessons, generating more than two BILLION media impressions about the vital importance of learning to swim. 
  • TEAM WLSL™ has set five multi-venue and three single venue Guinness® World Records since the program began in 2010.

TEAM WLSL™ is on a mission to make sure every parent understands the critical importance of teaching kids to swim and how to Be Water Aware to prevent drowning.

Show your support by sharing this important message.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the sad fact that more than 3,500 people drown each year in the U.S, making drowning the leading cause of death in children 1 – 4 years old. Even more sad, minorities drown at a rate three times higher than their peers.

Diversity is directly linked to the opportunity to be water safe. As we are well aware, aquatics suffers from lack of diversity, enforcing a system where the access to learning how to swim and gain water competency are not the same for everyone.

Between 1999-2010, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages. The disparity is widest among children 5-18 years old and is most pronounced in swimming pools. African American children 5-19 drown in swimming pools at rates 5.5 times higher than those of whites. This disparity is greatest among those 11-12 years in which African Americans drown in swimming pools at rates 10 times those of whites.(1)

Factors such as access to swimming pools, the desire or lack of desire to learn how to swim, and choosing water-related recreational activities may contribute to the racial differences in drowning rates. Available rates are based on population, not on participation. If rates could be determined by actual participation in water-related activities, the disparity in minorities’ drowning rates compared to whites would be much greater.(2)

Many organizations and advocates are striving to bring swimming to minority communities and thus reduce the incidence of drowning among them. Here are a few that you can support:

Diversity In Aquatics 

The drowning and participation gaps in aquatics mirror the disparities we find in public health and education, often ignoring the ongoing historical issues of race, socioeconomic circumstances, and cultural stereotyping. Therefore, a revamped focus is needed to address and help curve the current gaps found in aquatics.

Founded by Dr. Shaun Anderson and Jayson Jackson in 2010, Diversity In Aquatics is an organization built to develop a network to help save lives by empowering communities to have equitable access to quality aquatic opportunities. They work to address historical policies and practices that impact resource allocation and access to public spaces to understand present-day aquatic disparities.

Afroswimmers

AfroSwimmers is a swim movement that offers lessons and aquatic wellness services for people of color, founded by swim coach and aquatic healer Noelle Singleton.

AfroSwimmers boasts a facility in Atlanta where programs — including competitive coaching, aquatic therapy, and private swimming lessons — are offered to help break down barriers between the Black community and swimming.

Black People Will Swim

Black People Will Swim’s sole mission is plain and simple: it’s smashing the stereotype that Black people don’t swim. Their end game is to make a difference in the world of aquatics.

They aim to do this through a number of ways with their acronym F.A.C.E. encouraging their community to FACE their fears.

Swim Uphill

Founded by paralympic swimmer Jamal Hill, this organization has made it its mission to take justice against senseless drownings by promoting water safety competency through the Swim Uphill method in underserved communities around the globe.

Black Kids Swim

Black Kids Swim is a 501c3 organization based in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Their mission is to increase Black participation in the sport of competitive swimming. They also offer their consultancy services to aquatic facilities that wish to include a diverse group of adults and/or children to their programs.

The Josh Project

The Josh Project is a drowning prevention agency dedicated to water safety training and education. Their mission is to build basic swimming skills and knowledge of water safety to prevent drowning.

SwemKids

SwemKids is nonprofit school-based program that teaches children introductory swimming lessons and water safety skills as a part of their school’s curriculum. This model ensures that children are exposed to the water early and gain important life-saving skills to make sure they are safe while having fun!

Black Swimming Association

The Black Swimming Association (BSA) is a non-profit organisation set up to promote education among the Black community as well as other ethnic minority communities on water safety and drowning prevention measures.

They strive to ensure that the issues that preclude these communities from engaging in aquatics are researched, understood and  adequately addressed to promote inclusion and change.

  1. Gilchrist J, Parker EM. Racial/ethnic disparities in fatal unintentional drowning among persons aged ≤29 years—United States, 1999–2010. MMWR 2014;63:421–6.
  1. Branche CM, Dellinger AM, Sleet DA, Gilchrist J, Olson SJ. Unintentional injuries: the burden, risks and preventive strategies to address diversity. In: Livingston IL, editor.  Praeger handbook of Black American health (2nd edition): Policies and issues behind disparities in health. Westport (CT): Praeger Publishers; 2004. p. 317-27.