Tag Archive for: water safety education

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 Thus, as my first act as President of the NDPA Board of Directors, Blake’s pardon has been revoked.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 http://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 http://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 http://www.NDPA.org. To learn more about our annual national conference, please visit http://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!”

As you know, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDPA transitioned the 2020 National Water Safety Conference to an online delivery format. We felt a duty to provide high quality education, networking, and training no matter the circumstances. In less than 3-weeks our conference team raised up to meet this unforeseen challenge and successfully delivered the first virtual conference in our industry. Our speakers, exhibitors, and attendees proved that water safety was so important even during an unprecedented situation. The 2020 National Water Safety Conference increased attendance by 30% over the previous year’s conference and also provided attendees with over 60 high quality sessions that remained available for 5 months post conference.

2021 National Water Safety Conference
March 29 – April 1, 2021

Given the unpredictable and extended nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDPA has made the decision to transition the 2021 National Water Safety Conference to an online delivery format, similar to the 2020 conference. We believe it is the best decision for our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and our organization. By making this decision now, we will allow our conference team over 5 months to plan and organize a conference that will no-doubt be even better than last year’s event. You can be assured that our conference team will deliver a virtual conference experience second to none. Here are some highlights you can expect at the 2021 National Water Safety Conference Online:

  • 60+ educational sessions, trainings, and workshops.
  • A full day of the conference focused on the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan
  • Multiple live keynotes, general session speakers, and panel discussions; including a panel discussion with government officials, politicians, and policy makers on drowning prevention legislation and advocacy.
  • Numerous interactive networking events to expand your professional network in water safety.
  • A redesigned interactive exhibit hall that allows even more meaningful interactions and connections with our sponsors and exhibitors.
  • 5 months of post conference access to sessions. No more missed sessions and no more trying to soak up all the education at once.

Registration information will be available soon on www.WaterSafetyConference.com.

2021 Drowning Prevention Symposium (NEW)
San Diego, CA

September 13-14, 2021

We are extremely proud and excited to announce the first Drowning Prevention Symposium presented by NDPA. This new two-day autumn event is designed to bring together advocates, professionals, and leaders directly after the summer season. This smaller and seasonal event will focus on education, advocacy work, and sharing among the participants to better align drowning prevention efforts around the country. The first event will be held in-person in September of 2021 at the San Diego Mission Bay Resort. Mark the dates on your calendar and keep an eye out for more information in the near future. We can’t wait to be back in-person with you!

Thank you for your on-going support of water safety, the NDPA, and our conferences/events. We look forward to bringing you the best conferences and events yet in 2021.

Stay safe & stay well!

NDPA Conference Team

The following is a petition available via Change.org relating to the need to teach every child how to swim in the state of Florida: