Tag Archive for: water safety education

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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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!

From the NDPA Board President's Pen

In his last official act as President of the NDPA Board of Directors, Blake Collingsworth has issued himself a pardon from all future committee assignments. As we know, Blake’s courage and compassion in support of NDPA’s mission is tireless and arguably unparalleled. Thus, as my first act as President of the NDPA Board of Directors, Blake’s pardon has been revoked.

All kidding aside, when you see Blake and Cathy, please take a moment to express your deepest gratitude for their steadfast leadership. In addition to a passion for drowning prevention and water safety, Blake, Cathy and I also share membership in Rotary International where we are guided by the Four Way Test:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Is it BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

It is with these core guiding principles that I am humbled and honored to step into the NDPA Board Presidency. Some highlights of the work our board, in partnership with a stellar staff, will focus on in the coming months include:

  • Grounding diversity, equity and inclusion as connected to our mission and critical to ensuring the well-being of the communities we serve.
  • Connecting our board more authentically with the people and communities we serve through broad committee engagement.
  • Infuse new energy and vision into the strategic direction of NDPA as the national flagship water safety and drowning prevention organization.

As fellow board member Jeremy Smith announced multiple times at this year’s Water Safety Conference, my email is pam.cannell@boardbuild.org. Feel free to reach out to let me know how you would like to get involved in the good work we are doing to save lives.


Gratefully,

Pam Cannell
Board President, NDPA
President & CEO, BoardBuild

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

PHTA President & CEO Sabeena Hickman Elected to NDPA Board

(Alexandria, Va.) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is pleased to announce that its president and CEO, Sabeena Hickman, CAE, has been elected to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) Board of Directors.

NDPA’s mission statement is, “United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning.” Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1–4, and number two for children up to age 14. NDPA says, “Not one more drowning.” It works closely with families who have lost loved ones to advocate for safer aquatic practices and provides a wide range of resources on drowning prevention.

Hickman joins seven other outstanding individuals on the NDPA Board of Directors who work in different parts of the pool industry, healthcare, and emergency services. Together, this group is committed to expanding and promoting NDPA’s lifesaving work.

Hickman was selected in part due to her work in expanding the Step Into Swim initiative and her belief that those working in the pool and hot tub industry should take a lead in drowning prevention efforts.

“As an alliance, we want to make sure that all facets of the pool and hot tub industry are included in the discussions about water safety,” explains Dr. Adam Katchmarchi, Executive Director, NDPA. “There is a close connection between NDPA and PHTA and what we’re both trying to achieve with water safety. We are pleased to have Hickman’s voice on our board to represent the industry. Also, on an individual level, Hickman’s nonprofit and association management experience will be incredibly valuable to our organization.”

“I am honored to serve on the NDPA Board of Directors,” says Hickman. “Drowning prevention should be top of mind for everyone in the pool and hot tub industry. We have a commitment to not just manufacture, build, or service pools and hot tubs, but to educate the public on using them safely. We can all play a role in preventing drownings and saving lives.”

To learn more about NDPA, visit ndpa.org.

For more information, please contact Janay Rickwalder, PHTA’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, at jrickwalder@phta.org or 703.357.3918.

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About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance 

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org

Total Aquatic Programming & NDPA Join Together On Drowning Data

People and organizations in the drowning prevention and water safety space are well aware of the limitation of drowning statistics. Drowning data is not universally collected or classified mainly due the sheer nature of drowning which makes counting on reliable data extremely difficult. Few organizations have taken on the task to gather and distribute data pertaining to drowning and Total Aquatics Programming LLC is currently one of the most well known, respected and reliable sources.

Total Aquatic Programming and National Drowning Prevention Alliance Board of Directors have joined together to improve the “The Drowning Report” data. 

TAP has been collecting drowning data since 2008. This process involves about 1100-man hours per year plus cost for programs and support. They have recently faced the following challenges which have impelled them to rethink and reconsider the process in order to be more effective:

  • Some of the thousands of websites visited to gather report data have now  started charging subscription fees. While these are only .99 cents a week, they add up over the period of a year. 
  • Due to the number of sites consulted to gather information and download reports, TAP has been exposed (multiple times) to viruses and have had to move to enterprise grade protection. 
  • TAP users have requested many features that the organization was not able to offer before and is currently preparing to do: possibility of custom reports, online searchability features, ease of access and more.

It is time for TAP LLC to update the way they not only collect but also present the data gathered. This has a cost that they cannot totally absorb, and after talking to many users it is too important to just lose! They are nearly ready to move to a subscription-based model with an cost of $99.95 per year that will offer subscribers all the information they are used to plus:

  • Report filtering options
  • Custom reports (emailed on a customer set schedule)
  • Ability to submit drownings (requires approval)
  • Online and accessible 24/7 – no more waiting for the first of the month
  • Enhanced field logic
  • Alert notifications (new drownings in your area)
  • Much, Much More!

The new membership model will become effective by June 2021 with May 2021 featuring the last free version of drowning reports. NDPA premium members & all partners will be able to access the new database through their existing NDPA membership.

We hope this is a valuable service that you will continue to use. The new features will also allow members to more easily extract local data and customize reports.

Sign up is coming soon so be on the lookout!

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.

Education and knowledge is the key for everything and definitely something we should focus on in 2021. 

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.- Implement layers of protection at home

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.

Learn more about how to implement them here.

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.

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.

Learn more about Swimming Lessons As A Layer Of Protection To Prevent Drownings.

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.

Along with learning CPR, there are other layers of protection that you should learn which are intended to minimize injury should a child gain access to the water and are meant to be used immediately in the event of such an emergency.

8.- Invest in a life vest for each member of the family.

A properly fit life jacket is a very effective life-saving strategy in the quest to reduce the number of fatal drowning incidents in the country. Learn more about it here.

9.- Register for the 2021 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 #NWSC2021 will be offered from March 29 to April 1, 2021 in a virtual format. It will include a range of different activities including hosted virtual networking sessions, live general sessions and keynote addresses, interactive sessions, pre-recorded breakout educational sessions, and so much more. The best part of a virtual conference – no travel, hotel, and expenditure costs. Get ALL the education from the comfort of home!

Register now!

10.- Join the NDPA Water Safety Warriors Group!

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!

Drowning is a complex problem. To be effective, organizations need to leverage their strengths and work together to have the greatest impact.

The NDPA can help you make those connections and to have the greatest impact.  Join the alliance and empower your communities to take more action, touch more lives, and make an even greater difference.

Become An NDPA Member

By becoming an NDPA member (Basic or Premium) you or your organization will be contributing to the NDPA’s overall mission to prevent drowning and gain access to resources that advance drowning prevention. Drowning IS Preventable, and with your membership and support, we can work together to help save lives.

Become An NDPA Partner

Organizational partners of the NDPA are the backbone of our organization. The National Drowning Prevention Alliance is very excited to partner with your organization or company and work together for the common goal of ZERO drownings. As the NDPA starts a new phase of growth as an organization we welcome the opportunity to seek out new partners that will be help the NDPA on this journey to provide educational resources, increase water safety, and expand our impact towards water safety and drowning prevention for people of all ages and walks of life.

Become An NDPA Sponsor

There are a number of ways you can help support the work of the NDPA and our annual conference. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please download and view our annual sponsorship guide or our annual major gift guide 

Make The NDPA Your Amazon Smile

Make the NDPA your Amazon Smile and each time you make an eligible purchase on Amazon the NDPA will receive a percentage of your purchase total as a donation. It’s as simple as clicking the link below to make the NDPA your Amazon Smile. Shop and support the NDPA at the same time!

Make a Donation

The NDPA also relies on donations from our members, friends, and supporters to continue our work. With your support we can continue to bring people, groups, and leaders together to prevent drownings. Remember our mission – “Together WE can PREVENT the tragedy of drowning!”