Tag Archive for: swimming lessons

Water Safety Champion of the Month Mayor Melvin Carter

In Minnesota, a state lovingly referred to as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” the importance of water safety cannot be understated. It is here that Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, with his relentless drive and passion, has emerged as a beacon of change for water safety initiatives with the understanding that water competency should be a right, not a privilege.

Water is inviting, yet it poses a danger when not approached with the necessary skills and caution. Rooted in personal experiences and fueled by the collective needs of his community, Mayor Carter’s initiatives and proposed programs aim to ensure that every child, regardless of socioeconomic background, gains access to essential swimming lessons.

We are proud to announce our September Water Safety Champion of The Month, Mayor Melvin Carter.

Growing Up Surrounded by Water

Growing up, Mayor Carter, along with his siblings and friends, would often be found diving and swimming for hours at their local community center. It wasn’t just about fun; it was about community and culture. But today, many kids miss formal swimming lessons, largely due to the prohibitive costs. “Our youth deserve every opportunity to be successful, which involves eliminating barriers to learning,” he states.

This gap in access underscores why water safety has become a crucial issue for local governments.

The Need for Local Governments to Prioritize Water Safety

Water safety is paramount. Mayor Carter is steadfast in his belief that the local government’s primary role is to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents. When a study from the National Institute of Health highlighted that access to swimming lessons could nearly eradicate the chances of youth drowning, it became clear that more had to be done. By making swimming lessons free, not only can the safety of children be ensured, but it also addresses the socioeconomic disparities prevalent in many communities.

Water Safety Champion of the Month Mayor Melvin Carter

Proposing Free Swim Lessons for Children

Taking inspiration from the success of a previous initiative that eliminated participation fees for youth sports, Mayor Carter is proposing a significant $250,000 investment from the American Rescue Plan to fund free swimming lessons in city-owned pools. This ambitious initiative aims to cater to 2,500 youth under the age of 10 and instill a strong foundation of water safety and competency.

Although this initiative is still in its proposal phase, Mayor Carter has a powerful vision. The existing infrastructure, with instructors recruited from local high schools and classes held at sought-after locations like the Como Park Regional Pool and Highland Park Aquatic Center, lays a promising groundwork for the initiative.

Once the plan gains more clarity, a robust outreach effort involving the Parks and Recreation Department and local partners will take the front seat.

Water Safety Champion of the Month Mayor Melvin Carter

Water Competency For All

Equity and inclusivity are at the heart of the proposed plan. “When we say all children ages 10 and younger, we mean all children,” declares Mayor Carter. The Aquatics teams are equipped to accommodate youth of all abilities, ensuring that everyone has access to these life-saving lessons.

The Path Ahead 

While Mayor Carter is excited about the existing projects like lifeguard recruitment and safety outreach, he believes the community has a pivotal role to play. By becoming lifeguards or vocally supporting policies that further water safety, they can significantly impact these initiatives.

For local government leaders elsewhere, Mayor Carter’s message is simple yet impactful: sometimes, the most straightforward solutions can be the most effective. By removing barriers, such as cost, and fostering partnerships with schools and organizations, a ripple effect can be created, making communities safer and more inclusive.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Water Safety Champion of the Month, Mayor Melvin Carter, and his dedication to water safety, combined with a commitment to equity, makes him an exemplar for local governments everywhere. In his eyes, water safety isn’t just about preventing accidents; it’s about building communities where every child, regardless of their background, has an opportunity to thrive.

Thank you, your honor, for being a Water Safety Champion!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 
Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

When we send our children to school or summer camp, we rest assured that they will be kept safe from potential harm. After all, our educational institutions diligently teach our little ones about fire safety, regularly conduct lockdown drills, and have protocols for various emergencies. But there’s a glaring gap in this protective shield: water safety, which remains the number one killer of children ages 1-4.

Our latest Water Safety Champion, Kori Delapeña, is a fierce advocate for water safety education in childcare facilities. After tragedy struck her home, rather than being consumed by grief, she channeled her pain into purpose, embarking on a mission to ensure no other parent would have to endure such a loss.

While many safety measures have been embedded into our schooling systems, the silence around water safety is deafening. But with a Water Safety Champion of the month like Kori leading the charge, there’s hope that this oversight will soon be a thing of the past.

A Moment That Defined A Lifetime

Kori’s world was shattered when her six-year-old daughter, Cati,  tragically drowned under the care of a summer camp. Cati had been born with Down syndrome, and so, her parents took many precautions, including those around water. 

Aware of the challenges posed by their daughter’s diagnosis, they prioritized physical and occupational therapies needed for daily functions over swimming. Kori acknowledged that while they maintained general water safety norms, such as ensuring life jackets at the beach or pools, the intricacies of water safety were something they were largely unaware of. Kori lamented that vital water safety information was conspicuously absent from pediatricians and daycare providers, stating, “I wish somebody would have put fear in me.”

With Cati’s unique needs in mind, Kori extensively researched summer camps to ensure her daughter’s safety. After finding High Hopes camp, which had high marking reviews, she communicated Cati’s challenges and was reassured about her safety at the pool. The camp’s reassurances, however, proved hollow, and tragedy struck.

Kori’s story highlights a gap in our system. It begs for more substantial water safety measures for children attending pool activities under the care of a licensed childcare organization such as camps or schools. She also recommends parents always conduct thorough checks of any institution’s licensing and history through the state’s licensing websites as a proactive measure for protecting their child’s wellbeing.

Live Like Cati

In the face of unimaginable loss, Kori and her husband, John, founded Live Like Cati. Armed with grief and passion, the two set out to ensure that no parent in the state of Texas ever suffers loss as they did.

Live Like Cati has spearheaded efforts to teach water safety across Texas summer camps, provide life jackets for free, and train camp staff comprehensively. A whopping 1800 hours of training and over 1600 life jackets delivered attests to their dedication and desire to see safety at the forefront.

Educate, Advocate, Legislate

With a glaring void in water safety training within childcare facilities, Kori was propelled into the legislative arena, realizing the weight of her mission after a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigator named Angel advised her on this course. She discovered that drowning is the number one cause of death for children under 5 in the nation, and yet there was absolutely no training or language about drowning prevention in the child administration code. She found this alarming as childcare ratios are high, and when it involves water activities, the risk factor heightens. 

They’ve collaborated with the likes of Colin’s Hope and the Health and Human Services Department, and come September 1st, Texas will see the introduction of HB59– Cati’s Law. The law mandates childcare organizations to verify swimming capabilities and ensure non-swimmers wear USCG life jackets before entering the gates of a pool.

“It wasn’t just about Cati. It was about every child and parent,” 

Kori reflects, underscoring her drive to protect all children. Through legislative efforts, Kori hopes to establish systems that will incentivize childcare providers to prioritize water safety. Research supports her approach, showing that financial penalties or legal consequences can drive behavioral change.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Kori’s journey from grieving mother to Water Safety Champion is a testament to her resilience and determination. Partnering with many drowning prevention organizations and getting the backing of Texas legislators, she’s been able to bring about tangible changes that will protect children and ease the minds of parents and caregivers. 

Her advocacy serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of water safety education and the critical role each one of us plays in preventing such tragedies through legislation.

Thank you for being a Water Safety Champion!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 

Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

“CANNONBALL!” a friend says as they jump into the pool! The pool, lake, pond, or ocean can be a great place to cool down from the summer heat. If you or someone you know has not yet learned how to swim as an adult, they may be hesitant to get in. While it can feel like a leap of faith to start, you are never too old to learn how to swim!

Why it is Important

While swimming is not an instinctual skill for humans, there is never a wrong time or age to learn! USA Swimming shares that when parents have no/low swimming skills, their children are unlikely to have proficient swimming skills. 

This affects 64% of African American children, 45% of Hispanic/Latinx children, and 40% of Caucasian children. Learning to swim as an adult will show your children that you are never to learn a new skill! 

We all have different reasons for wanting to learn how to swim at any age. All reasons are valid, and for some, the reason may be overcoming their fear of water. We encourage you to search in your area for facilities and instructors that work with fearful adults. 

It is also important to share with your instructor your reasoning for wanting to learn. If you have some fears, we encourage you to share those too. 

How to Get Started

Where to begin, you ask? Well, you can follow a similar path when looking for a swimming program for your child. There are many groups and organizations that offer adult-only swimming lessons. 

There are often instructors that work specifically and only with adults to help you get comfortable in the water and to build up your skills. You can find NDPA resources to adapt for yourself by using our Swim Lesson Decision Chart and Checklist to help find the best type of swimming lessons to fit your needs.

Finding your Best Fit

Swimming programs often offer one on one instruction or small-group instruction. Both are valuable, and you can pick which one is best for you. Starting swimming lessons as an adult can feel like a big task, so know that you can follow some of the tips on the swim program checklist for finding your children’s swimming lessons. 

This can include items like going into the facilities and familiarizing yourself with the layout, and even asking if you can meet the instructor for the first class. Remember, there is a facility and instructor out there for you! 

NDPA Resources

Water competency is one of NDPA’s 5 Layers of Protection that help you, your family, and your community to be safer around water. By learning how to swim as an adult, you are showing your children, family, and community that you are taking water safety seriously.

The water can be a really fun place to go to, and you are taking the first steps (and splashes) to be safer and more prepared being in and around the water. 

Whether you are an adult learning how to swim because you have a vacation coming up, want to be comfortable in the water, or want to show your children that swimming is an important skill to know and learn, you can find the right swimming program for you! 

There is no age limit on learning how to swim, so grab your swimsuit and towel, and get ready to build up your swimming ability. See you in the water soon!

Every year, numerous drowning incidents occur, claiming the lives of both children and adults. However, there is a particular concern when it comes to individuals with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The risks associated with water safety for those with ASD are often overlooked and misunderstood, leading to tragic outcomes.

Our July Water Safety Champion is mother to a person with Autism and a passionate advocate for water safety initiatives for persons with Autism.

We are honored to celebrate our July Water Safety Champion of the Month, Stacey Hoaglund!

Finding the Courage To Be the Voice of a Movement

Stacey’s son was diagnosed with Autism at a young age. Early on, she prioritized water safety and ensured that both of her children received swim lessons. But it wasn’t until 2018, when she and her son were on a trip to Washington, that she came across a news broadcast from Florida about a child with Autism who tragically drowned. 

Stacey admits that for years she expected others in the Autism community to take the lead, but after years of silence, she realized she needed to be the voice. 

Her water safety advocacy journey started by reaching out to a friend who was a lobbyist in her state, who connected her with two women leading movements in South Florida, both who worked for the Department of Health and both who had lost children to drowning. Their lived experiences and determination ignited a sense of purpose within her.

Overcoming Challenges and Misinformation

When she first stepped into the water safety space, Stacey noted that the lack of information and awareness regarding water safety and individuals with Autism was a grave concern.

According to available data, 50 drowning incidents have been recorded in 2023, and of those, 8 individuals had been diagnosed with Autism and wandered away from home. Wandering is a significant risk for those with Autism and can lead to emergency situations, like drowning.

One of the challenges Stacey found on her journey was that pediatricians and teachers lacked information regarding water safety. Parents of children with Autism often find themselves needing guidance on preventive measures or the importance of swim lessons for their children. In some cases, they may prioritize therapies over swim lessons, particularly if their child has communication difficulties. This information gap leaves children with Autism vulnerable to water-related accidents.

Drowning Prevention Strategies and Advocacy Efforts

Autism presents unique challenges, particularly when it comes to generalizing skills. Children may learn to swim in a specific setting, but they may struggle to apply those skills in different environments. The reliance on water wings can also create a false sense of security, as individuals with Autism may mistakenly assume they can float in any body of water.

Stacey notes that many times, swim instructors are trained in teaching neuro-typical children to swim but do not have experience or understanding of children who have Autism or other developmental disabilities. Many families are hesitant to enroll their children with special needs in swim lessons due to the lack of knowledge of teaching techniques. Recognizing this barrier, efforts have been made to provide resources and training to water safety instructors to ensure they are equipped to teach individuals with Autism effectively. The Autism Society of Florida has also sought funding to support swim lessons for individuals with Autism who may not be able to afford swim lessons.

As a resource, the Autism Society of Florida, where Stacey is President, runs a program that trains parents of children with disabilities, including Autism, on how to advocate for systems change. She has also collaborated with organizations and lawmakers to raise awareness and implement effective drowning prevention strategies for parents of children with Autism. Most recently, Senator Anna Maria Rodriguez from Miami has confirmed her legislative support for the drowning prevention of children with Autism in Florida.

Making an Impact on Legislation and Community Outreach

While progress has been made in advocating for water safety, there is still room for improvement. One crucial aspect that requires attention is raising awareness.

Marketing campaigns should be more aggressive, emphasizing the importance of active supervision and vigilance when it comes to water safety. Additionally, school systems play a vital role in disseminating information on drowning prevention, and initiatives like the “Every Child a Swimmer” legislation of 2021 can contribute significantly to reducing drowning incidents.

Engaging the community is crucial to the success of any initiative. Throughout her time as an advocate, Stacey has formed relationships with various stakeholders, including schools, fire chiefs, and organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Surgeon General. These collaborations allow for policy work and the dissemination of information to the broader community. Support groups for parents and families also provide a platform for sharing experiences, concerns, and water safety resources.

More work is needed to bridge the information gap, provide accessible resources, and engage the community to ensure that water safety programs are in place for individuals with Autism. Through collective efforts, we can strive towards a world where every individual, regardless of their abilities, can safely enjoy aquatic activities and prevent tragic accidents.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Water safety is a pressing issue, especially for individuals with Autism, who face unique challenges and risks. Thank you, Stacey, for the strides you’ve made in reducing drowning incidents among this vulnerable population!

Thank you for being a Water Safety Champion!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 
Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

When it comes to water safety – unity and education are vital to further reduce the number of drownings. There is nothing more inspiring than listening to seasoned water safety champions like Greg Louganis inspire the next generation, such as Matthew Struble, to advocate for the best water safety strategies and to bring generations together to solve the drowning epidemic.

We are thrilled to celebrate our June Water Safety Champions of the Month, Greg Louganis and Matthew Struble!

Why Being a Water Safety Champion is Important to Drowning Prevention:

Water Safety Champions play a crucial role in raising awareness about the importance of water safety practices and are passionate about educating others about staying safe in and around water. We’ve created the Water Safety Champion program to provide resources, tools, and education to drive awareness and help prevent drownings and aquatic injuries.

Becoming a Water Safety Champion means being a part of a national movement that is focused on reducing the amount of water-related tragedies by doing things such as community outreach, social activism, program development, and water safety education.

Without people like Greg and Matthew, we would undoubtedly face a much larger problem when it comes to water-related tragedies. Their efforts and dedication make a significant impact on raising awareness, educating the public, and implementing safety measures in various aquatic environments.

Greg Louganis– From Olympic Champion to Water Safety Champion

Following his retirement from competitive diving, four-time Olympic gold-medal diver, Greg Louganis, channeled his passion for water into becoming a champion for the cause. Having experienced the risks and dangers associated with water firsthand, he dedicated himself to promoting drowning prevention and educating individuals o water safety practices.

Louganis has worked with numerous organizations, including the USA Diving Foundation, USA Water Polo, and the Red Cross, to raise awareness and provide resources for water safety education. He has conducted clinics, speaking engagements, and demonstrations to help prevent drowning incidents and promote responsible water activities.

As drowning risks are so high for children ages 1-4, parents and caregivers are perceived as being responsible for preventing further drownings. 

This is simply not true. Every single person is susceptible to drowning, regardless of their swimming ability. Accidents can happen to anyone, and it takes everyone working together in order to prevent further tragedy due to drowning. 

Together, Greg and Matthew are changing the landscape of what it looks like to be an advocate for water safety!

Matthew Struble: One of Our Youngest Water Safety Champions!

Matthew’s town had local programs for mental health but none for water safety. 

Living in Florida, where there are pools and natural bodies of water at every corner, it became a major concern for him. To help fill this gap, Matthew used his senior project to organize a program that taught school-aged children the importance of implementing and learning the 5 Layers of Protection, focusing on how children can learn to be prepared in the case of a water emergency. 

“I grew up around water, and I know first-hand how important it is to understand both the benefits and the potential dangers, whether it’s a pool, beach, or even a water park.”

As an avid swimmer since the age of 5 and a Red Cross certified Water Safety Instructor, Matthew leveraged his knowledge and experience to create this life-changing program for young children. Brevard County is now considering Matthew’s program for use in local schools throughout the area.

During his senior class awards night, Matthew was presented with the Water Safety Champion medal and spoke with Greg over Zoom about this incredible honor. 

We look forward to watching Matthew’s incredible journey unfold. We know the positive impact he will undoubtedly have on communities, using his knowledge and passion to uplift and empower those around him. Congratulations on this exciting new chapter, and we can’t wait to see what happens next! 

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in, but Greg and Matthew prove that anything is possible if you have the drive and determination to succeed. They are an inspiration to us all, reminding us that we can make a difference no matter who we are or where we come from.

Thank you for being Water Safety Champions!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 
Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

CAST water safety foundation Liz Huber

When you become a parent, you quickly realize that your new goal in life is to make sure that your children’s lives are full of new experiences that lead them to discover their best selves. For Liz Huber, CAST Water Safety Foundation Founder & Director, her children’s experience with self-rescue lessons led her to pursue her own path of water safety education by becoming a certified ISR self-rescue instructor and founding the CAST Water Safety Foundation.

As an educator with a background in business and philanthropy, Liz saw an opportunity for each of her passions to be fused together for an even greater purpose.

“Self-rescue swim lessons were the most empowering thing that ever happened to our family. I wanted to share that empowerment with others.”

We are thrilled to celebrate Liz Huber as our Water Safety Champion of the Month this May!

Liz’s Introduction to the Aquatics Industry

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago and having a pool in her backyard made Liz a strong swimmer by the time she was 4 years old. As a parent today, she knew teaching children to swim at an early age would make them safer, and set a goal for her own children to learn by the age of 3.

With this goal in mind, she went on her search but struggled to find a local swim program that was highly respected while providing the result of teaching kids under 5 to be competent in the water.

Finally, while on vacation, she came across a family that told her about ISR self-rescue lessons, and to Liz, this was the perfect fit for safeguarding her water-loving babies.

She enrolled her daughters in ISR self-rescue lessons and noticed a significant difference in their overall quality of life as a result. Her children slept better, ate better, had better interpersonal relationships, and hit long-awaited physical milestones, leaving them with a deep sense of empowerment.

On that basis alone, Liz realized the lessons were worth it. However, it wasn’t until she became a licensed instructor at her daughter’s swim school that she understood the most critical piece of water competency—drowning prevention.

As an instructor, she had the opportunity to speak to another mom, Katie Trent, whom she met while her daughter was in self-rescue lessons. Unfortunately, Liz soon discovered she had lost her daughter in a tragic drowning accident.

A simple statement from Katie would echo in Liz’s heart for years to come, “How did you learn about these lessons before losing a child? The only reason I’m here is because my daughter is gone.”

A Moment Becomes an Opportunity

No one should have to experience the gravity of such a loss, so Liz took it upon herself to learn everything she could about safer swimming initiatives during the pandemic. Realizing how much education goes into keeping a child under five safe around water, she began to craft a new approach to water safety education.

As a former elementary educator, she understood that in any case (development, education, emotional intelligence, etc.), benchmarks change with age. This understanding led her to make the following decision: CAST would customize their lessons to how a child under 5 learns while tracking the data of the biggest risk factors for their age group.

The CAST Water Safety Foundation facilitates swim safety education. Their approach to water competency heavily focuses on education surrounding water, the risks, the benefits of competency, and the importance of guardian involvement in the learning process.

The children’s caretakers are actively involved in learning strategies for routines when entering the water, respect for water, and being in the water with your child. Caretaker involvement can help to ensure children are safe and skilled in aquatic environments, which can lead to a lifelong love of swimming and water-based activities. Additionally, guardians can also learn about the benefits of swimming for physical and mental health.

Self-rescue lessons are given to each child one-on-one at 10-minute weekly intervals. Program duration is up to 6 weeks or until instructors determine the child is “safe and skilled,” after which lessons are less frequent and done for maintenance.

They partner with a number of organizations and foundations, such as the 4 ANNA Foundation, the Live Like Jake Foundation, and Levi’s Legacy, bringing education and empowerment to families with the overall goal of creating “safer swimmers sooner.”

CAST-ing a Vision for the Future

Growth and expansion are on the horizon for this small but mighty organization, which just reached its 500th swim scholarship, which helps minimize the cost of self-rescue lessons. They anticipate future growth by adding more scholarship partners with trusted and effective instructors who desire to give back and provide education to swim families.

Currently, they are partnered with 12 self-rescue swim instructors in the Chicago suburbs and cities throughout the U.S. The CAST team hopes to keep growing scholarship providers and further water safety education for families nationwide.

Liz’s biggest hope is that all swim schools, swim lesson providers, and advocates can unite and spread awareness under a common goal: customized education and instruction which will best safeguard children under five.

CAST remains a community pillar for educating parents of children under 5 on water safety and drowning prevention. In the future, they hope to partner with others that have the same mission but are focused on older children and teens, as well as organizations that are committed to

Water safety is a critical topic that cannot be overlooked, and the work of organizations like CAST Water Safety Foundation is an important part of initiatives that aim to save lives.

Thank You For Being A Water Safety Champion!

Liz Huber is a true Water Safety Champion who works tirelessly to educate people on water safety and drowning prevention initiatives. Her dedication and passion for water competency are an inspiration to us all to take the necessary precautions and make water activities safer for everyone.

Thank you for being a Water Safety Champion, Liz Huber!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 

Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

Are you ready to dive into water safety? Look no further than the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™. This annual event brings together swimmers of all ages and skill levels for one important cause: drowning prevention. This incredible event, held across multiple cities, countries and continents, is more than just a fun day at the pool. It’s an opportunity to spread awareness about water safety and teach life-saving skills that can make all the difference in an emergency situation.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ has become a global movement, with over 50,000 participants each year. From beginners to seasoned pros, everyone is encouraged to participate in this incredible event highlighting the importance of swim lessons and drowning prevention education.

The 2023 World’s Largest Swimming Lessonevent (WLSL), will take place on Thursday, June 22. 

Here are some facts to get ready for this important event:

  • Millions of children missed the opportunity to participate in formal swimming lessons in the past couple of years 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 2023 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson will offer hundreds of aquatic centers, swim schools, and waterparks the chance to focus on the urgency of getting kids in the water and help raise awareness about drowning and the fact that swimming is a vital life-saving skill that every child should learn.
  • What is exciting about the WLSL event is that many organizations and individual aquatic facilities are coming together to make it happen. The WLSL helps capture all our passion 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 estimates drowning is one of the top five causes of death for people ages 1-14 in 48 of the 85 countries it monitors around the globe. Swimming is a vital life-saving skill. 
  • 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 fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents occur in the U.S. during June than in any other month.
  • Nearly 80% of drowning victims are male. Also, African-American children age 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 ten 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.

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!

Register now!

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!

Want to become a Water Safety Champion? Here’s how!

The holiday season is a time for giving, so why not give the gift of water safety this year? Water activities can be some of the most enjoyable experiences during the holiday season and all year long but staying safe is essential. There are many ways to ensure everyone can have a fun and safe time in the water. 

To ensure everyone has a happy and safe holiday season and new year put water safety at the top of your gift list. Gifts of experiences and learning have moved up many people’s wish lists and parents and caregivers can look to water safety to help check off those lists. 

Give The Gift of Water Safety This Year

A gift of water safety may be the perfect present for your family and friends this holiday season. Whether it’s a swim lesson, a brand-new life vest, or a CPR certification, investing in the safety of loved ones is one of the best gifts you can give.

Water safety isn’t something that should be taken lightly – drowning is still one of the leading causes of accidental death among children. Taking proactive measures to ensure that everyone knows how to stay safe around water all year long can mean the difference between life and death. 

This year, why not make sure your family and friends have access to everything they need to stay safe during their next boating or beach trip? Here are some ideas to get started:

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and adventure. They are a great way to spend time with loved ones and have significant physical and mental health benefits.

Most importantly, they teach water competency, which is essential to prevent drowning incidents. 

Learning to swim doesn’t eliminate the risk of drowning, but it does equip children with a life-saving layer of protection. Research suggests that children ages 1-4 who participate in formal swim lessons can reduce their risk of drowning by 88%.

By giving someone special the gift of swimming lessons this holiday season, you are helping them gain valuable skills that will stay with them for life. Learning to swim is more than just mastering the technique; it’s about gaining confidence in yourself, and the skills needed to enjoy the water safely at all times.

Most swim programs offer gift cards for swim lessons. If you’re unsure which program is best for your little ones, download our Swim Program Decision Chart and Checklist to help you make the most educated decision.

Life Vests

This holiday season, let’s all do something a little different and make sure water safety is at the top of our gift list. A life vest for someone you love can be one of the most meaningful gifts they receive this year. 

Life vests are essential for keeping people safe in the water, regardless of their skill level or experience. From toddlers just getting their feet wet to avid swimmers who take on more daring bodies of water, life vests are an essential layer of protection everyone should take before entering any body of water. The holidays are the perfect time to provide that necessary piece of equipment and bring some peace of mind to those closest to us.

When choosing a life vest or flotation device, be sure to select a USCG-approved one that has been tested and meets accepted industry standards.

Lifeguard Training

Taking a lifeguarding training class is your first step towards keeping swimmers safe! Lifeguards play an important role in drowning prevention. They are trained professionals who understand how to recognize, prevent and respond to swimming emergencies. 

A lifeguard training class will equip you or a loved one with a comprehensive understanding of water safety, rescue techniques, and first aid skills. You’ll also learn how to use essential lifesaving equipment such as lifejackets, buoys, and spinal boards. It’s an exciting way to acquire practical knowledge that could save someone’s life! 

Whether you’re looking for a summer job or want to learn more about water safety, taking a lifeguard certification course is the perfect way to get started. You can purchase a gift certificate for lifeguard training courses and start your journey toward becoming a lifesaver!

CPR Certification

Learning to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a valuable skill that can potentially save lives. 

CPR training involves learning to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest and how to administer chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques properly. But don’t worry – these skills are easy to learn! Many organizations like the American Red Cross and American Heart Association offer CPR/AED classes that provide hands-on instruction on the basics of administering first aid, practice scenarios, and other helpful tips for responding quickly and efficiently in an emergency. 

In addition to providing basic life support skills for adults and children, many CPR courses also include information about water safety and rescue techniques. Anyone living in a home with a pool or frequently around water should learn CPR with rescue breaths, making a CPR Certification a wise gift for the holidays.

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 British Swim School.

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 British Swim School. To learn more about the benefits of British Swim School’s franchising opportunities, visit British Swim School Franchise/. For more information about Buzz Franchise Brands, visit Buzz Franchise Brands

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 NDPA. To learn more about our annual national conference, please visit National Water Safety Conference.

Media Contact

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

SOURCE British Swim School