Posts

Due to delayed opening dates for most aquatic venues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the WLSL has issued the following statement:

“We know that the last few weeks have been difficult for all of us. As a global community we’ve been asked to make big changes in a short time to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and there are still a lot of unanswered questions about when and if we will be able to get back to our normal operations. Yet, despite facing so many unknowns, we’ve been inspired to see you sharing water safety tips, lesson plans and activities about why it’s important to learn to swim, designate adult water watchers and provide layers of protection.

Although our WLSL event might look different than it has in the past, we believe that spreading the Swimming Lessons Save Lives message whenever we can is still so important. To that end, we’ve decided to offer all host locations two options to be part of TEAM WLSL in 2020:

First, we’re shifting our official WLSL event date to July 16, 2020 to allow more facilities a chance to get open or to reopen.

Second, if July 16th will not work for your schedule, you will have the option to host your 2020 WLSL event on any day of your choosing in June, July or August.

We hope that these two options will give more of you flexibility in supporting this year’s WLSL event. In the coming days, we will be working on updates to the curriculum to address social distancing and we will be creating a collection of revised marketing materials for you to use to promote your 2020 event.

WLSL Logo

We hope that you will join TEAM WLSL on either July 16th or whatever day works best for you this summer!

In the meantime, stay safe and follow your local guidelines until we are given the go-ahead to open for the summer.”

finding a water safety program blog cover

Sarah Christianson is a wife, mother, RN, model and water safety advocate. The views expressed in this article are entirely her own and do not represent the opinions of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

The smile on her face quickly faded and soon tears started to surface with a look of fear accompanied by the silent plead for me to come save her. This is what no parent wants to watch unfold. Being torn from wanting to jump into full mommy mode and whisk your daughter away from her fear or the side of making her stick with the swim class that she has quickly grown to hate.

My daughter Aubrey, 5 years old, had just started weekly swim lessons at one of our local gyms. We happen to luck out with her being the only kiddo to sign up for her time slot. Hello private lessons without the price tag (mom win)! She loved every moment of them, the 1:1 attention, the constant praise and reinforcement from her instructor. Each end to the lesson she would have the biggest smile on her face and ask how many days until next week’s lesson. I couldn’t be happier! I mean, how could I not be jumping for joy to see my daughter be excited to learn one of the most important skills in life?! Little did I know that the joy would be short lived.

On week three the instructor informed me that a set of siblings would be joining the class. They had been signed up in the wrong class and now moved to Aubrey’s class. She let Aubrey and myself know that they were “deathly afraid of water” and would need lots of help . I remember her smiling at Aubrey, saying “but I know you can help me and show them how brave we can be in the water.” The mommy red flag was starting to wave like the flag at the beginning of a Nascar race. It wasn’t my daughter’s job to show them the ropes, and if they needed that much attention what would happen to Aubrey during the class? So many questions swirled, but only time would tell.

The following week we headed into swim lessons and quickly spotted the new additions to her class. Both were crying, one more than the other, and neither wanting to go anywhere near the pool. As I sat and watched the instructor try to get them into the water I glanced over at Aubrey who was standing in the water wide eyed with a look of “what is happening?” written clearly across her face. The majority of the class was spent trying to help the new kiddos stop crying and Aubrey looking back at me with a look of confusion as her turns were shortened. I wondered how long this would continue. After class I praised Aubrey for trying her hardest and for showing the kiddos how fun being in swim lessons could be. She was a little quieter than usual, but I didn’t want any extra focus or conversation on the fear of the others or how she didn’t get as much attention. 

Before we knew it the week had passed and we were back for the next lesson. This is when everything fully flipped. We not only were told we had a new instructor, but the new kiddos were almost double the tears and fears then last week. Aubrey’s smiles faded before the whole group even got into the water. This is when the facial pleads for help surfaced and the tears started to arise. Aubrey would motion that she needed to go to the bathroom and once in the bathroom she would stall, fully knowing she was missing out in class. The class would eventually end and she cried and cried, begging me not to make her go back, that she never wanted to go in the water again.

I’m a strong believer that every child, no matter the age, needs to learn to float and swim! It’s essential in life! So what was I supposed to do for my daughter? There were other swim facilities in town, but I had heard similar stories of large kid to instructor ratios and stories of moms that had to jump into the class to grab their child because the instructor wasn’t watching and the child was treading water. I didn’t feel qualified to teach my daughter to float and swim, because what did I know of all the proper techniques? I came from the days of your parents throwing you in the local pool and just telling you to paddle like a dog and figure it out. I wanted something different, something better for my daughter.

It truly was a miracle that the same day as the last swim lesson someone told me about the Float 4 Life National Training Center right here in Lincoln. I immediately jumped on social media and stalked their page and then their website. From the 1:1 ratios and the fact that they have the Josh the Otter Water Safety and Awareness Program had me ready to make an appointment. After meeting with staff at Float 4 Life I realized within minutes this is were Aubrey needed to be! This is where we would reverse the fear and see joy again!

There’s something to be said about watching your child overcome fear and grow with excitement in what they are doing. I’m so grateful that I listened to my mothers intuition and sought out a different alternative to where we were at. I believe that we always have the opportunity to change our paths in life, no matter the journey we are on, and this was exactly what we did for our daughter! We chose to not settle and find something better for her! This is why it’s so important for me to spread the word about not settling for mediocre and demand the best when it comes to our kids and learning this life skill! 

The relief I feel knowing my daughter is getting amazing instructions and no longer has the paralyzing fear of water means the world to me! I already have several friends asking questions and making appointments to have their kiddos come to Float 4 Life, because they’ve seen the difference and thought they just had to tough it out. If my journey with Aubrey helps at least one child have a better experience with learning to swim then that means that’s one more child that we prevent from drowning!  I hope I can help educate more parents about the importance of water safety and what to look for before enrolling in water safety training.

Sarah Christianson

@always_be_unstoppable

2020 National water Safety Conference Online logo

As you know, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the bold decision to transition the 2020 National Water Safety Conference to an online delivery format. This will be a new and exciting experience for everyone. We are committed to making this a fun and seamless experience for everyone. Here is more information about the online conference and what you can expect:

You’ll get full access to LIVE and RECORDED ALL sessions. That’s right… EVERY session! Yes, every keynote, the workshops, and each great session–the ones people travel thousands of miles to see–will be at your fingertips. With the 2020 National Water Safety Conference Online, you’ll have access to 40+ online recordings and multiple live sessions. You can watch playbacks from your computer, tablet, or smartphone at your leisure after the conference as well or follow along with us as though you were physically at the conference.

You’ll also be able to interact with other dedicated water safety advocates and professionals via our mobile app, private Facebook networking group, and other interactive networking events during the conference.

What is the value of a virtual conference?

  • Soak in knowledge from the world’s leading water safety advocates and professionals at your own pace.
  • Economically experience the best of the National Water Safety Conference presented by the NDPA.
  • Costs of travel, including airfare, hotel, and car rental are eliminated.
  • Study key sessions by watching them multiple times if needed.
  • Access 40+ sessions that could transform your approach to drowning prevention and water safety that will save more lives.
  • By attending this virtual conference you are making the most of your time by investing in your professional development and continuing education.
Watch NDPA Executive Director Adam Katchmarchi & NDPA Marketing Director Laura Metro discuss the upcoming 2020 National Water Safety Conference Online.

How does the National Water Safety Conference Online work?

1.- Registration

If you’ve already registered for the National Water Safety Conference, you are all set! If you haven’t registered yet, you still have time. The virtual conference will take place on the same dates our in-person conference was scheduled for (April 6-9). We have adjusted the price for the virtual conference to $399 ($100 savings vs. in-person full conference rate). If you’ve paid a higher rate, expect a refund of the difference to appear in your account soon.

We are thrilled with the value of the content we are going to provide you – all of the education – for one low rate with no hotel, air travel, ground transportation, entertainment, and other expenditures.

If you’d like to register for the National Water Safety Conference Online, please visit www.WaterSafetyConference.org and click on “Register”. While this site is currently being updated, you can still use the existing registration process to register. All prices have already be updated.

2.- Watch The Sessions

Greet each day by networking with our exhibitors, sponsors, and other attendees beginning at 9:30am ET. At 11am ET each day, the conference begins. You’ll be able to join our LIVE STREAM all day until 6pm and view our keynotes and interactive sessions. You’ll also be granted access to over 10+ pre-recorded presentations each day. Don’t have time to watch it all in one day? That’s fine! You will have access to all recordings for 3 months after the conference ends.

More information will be available soon. Keep an eye on your emails for further communications from the NDPA. We plan to release the updated conference schedule by mid-next week.

3.- Networking and Discussion

Join our Facebook group to connect with other dedicated water safety advocates and professionals who share your industry, area of interest, or even region of the world. It’s only for National Water Safety Conference participants.

NDPA App – We are in the process of updating the NDPA conference app which will be a critical communications and networking piece to this online experience.  We will let you know when the app is ready to go.

4.- Who, What, When, Where & Why

WHO: This virtual experience is ideal for any water safety advocate, aquatics professional, industry executive, or business owners, who want to better understand the latest drowning prevention and water safety tactics given by the leading experts in the field. 

WHAT: The National Water Safety Conference Online provides full online access to ALL sessions that would have been in-person at the physical conference (NOTE: some agenda items have been changed). These are videos you can play over and over. You’ll also get PDFs of the presentation slide decks. In addition, access to a private and exclusive networking group allows you to network and ask questions. 

WHEN: Session recordings will be posted daily April 6 -9. You’ll have access to all the sessions for 3 months after the conference.

WHERE:At home on your schedule or join right along with us.

WHY: You’ll be able to implement effective drowning prevention strategies and tactics that will help improve your efforts to save lives. This virtual conference will ensure your employer or yourself that you are maximizing the full potential of your time at home!

If you were to attend the live National Water Safety Conference 2020 in Ft. Worth and access all the content featuring a lineup of world-class experts the cost would be $499. And that doesn’t include the added costs of travel! Not with the Virtual Conference!! By attending the National Water Safety Conference Online you have no costs for travel, meals, hotels, cars but get access to ALL the sessions! 

Again, we are confident and excited to roll out this conference in a virtual format.  We look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas and as with everything the NDPA and it’s members, sponsors and partners do, we will do this together. If you have any questions, please email conference@wp14.temp.domains and we will get back to you shortly.

Hello, NDPA Conference Attendees & Supporters, 

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult and unprecedented time. As you know, the 2020 National Water Safety Conference is scheduled for April 6-9 in Fort Worth, TX. Given government regulations, employer travel restrictions, published public health recommendations, and participant safety, it is impossible to host our in-person conference in Fort Worth. Instead, we are excited to announce that we will be moving the 2020 National Water Safety Conference to a new and interactive virtual format to be held over the same dates. 



The NDPA Board of Directors has had extensive discussions over the past week due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt a responsibility to host our conference as it is the kick-off to the drowning prevention season and although unquantifiable, we know, saves lives.  We also felt it was our duty to our alliance members, supporters, and the nation as we fear drowning rates will dramatically increase as children and families will have extended time at home and potential exposure to water more than ever. Therefore, we mobilized quickly, reviewed our options and determined the best course of action.  

We as the NDPA, recognize the serious role our annual conference plays to support professionals, advocates, educators, parents, and all drowning prevention warriors in preparing for the upcoming season and have become equally excited to deliver the most value in a flexible and innovative way. 

We have expanded our conference team in the past few days to include experts and experienced individuals who will help us ensure we can successfully deliver you the best value possible. Yes, our upcoming conference will be different, just as many things are in our lives right now. While it is not possible for us to deliver the same in-person experience, we have come up with something as valuable that will allow many more people to “join” our conference than ever before. Our commitment to you is to work harder than ever to provide each of you with a meaningful and well executed event that provides exceptional educational opportunities.  

We will be providing more information about online participation and support in the coming days to attendees, speakers, and sponsors.
 ·      ATTENDEES: We will be communicating with you on a regular basis to inform you of our conference schedule and ways to make the most of your online participation.
·      SPEAKERS: We will be communicating with you in the next 48 hours to provide you with information about the delivery of your presentation. Please keep an eye out for further information via email.
·      EXHIBITORS/SPONSORS: We will be communicating with you by the end of this week regarding your options for virtual participation and adjusted benefits. 

Again, thank you for your continued patience during this time. We will have further information available for all participants in the coming days. We know that this is an extremely unusual and unprecedented time in the world. The NDPA will be working constantly to ensure we can provide the drowning prevention and water safety community with the most important education and connectivity possible. Thank you for helping us save lives! 

Best regards, 
Adam 

Adam B. Katchmarchi, Ph.D., EMT-B
Executive Director
National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA)
home water safety tips blog cover

Home pools and spas are, of course, drowning hazards which is why implementing layers of protection is so important.

Bearing in mind that drowning can happen in even a very little amount of water, think of all the other objects in your home that are full or potentially full of water: toilet bowls, unemptied tubs, sinks, bird baths, pet dishes… Babies and toddlers are naturally curious so having all these hazards in mind becomes increasingly important.

The following tips are meant to make your home safer:

Active Adult Supervision at All Times

  1. Your child must never be unattended when around water. Bear in mind that babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  2. When watching kids when they are in or around water, avoid any and all distractions. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult (touch supervision).

Empty Tubs and Buckets After Use

  1. Immediately drain the tub once bath time is over.
  2. Empty buckets, containers and kiddie pools as soon as they are no longer in use and store them upside down. This is so they don’t collect water.

Keep Lids and Doors Closed

  1. Close toilet lids and consider using toilet seat locks to prevent drowning.
  2. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed at all times.

Backyard Pools

  1. Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.
  2. When children are swimming and there are several adults present, make sure kids are actively supervised at all times by choosing a Water Watcher. A Water Watcher is a responsible adult who agrees to watch the kids in the water without distractions and wear a Water Watcher card. After a certain amount of time (such as 15-minutes), the Water Watcher card is passed to another adult, who is responsible for the active supervision. Download a Water Watcher card here.
  3. Install fences around home pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  4. Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water.
  5. Make sure kids learn how to swim and develop these five water survival skills:
  • step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface;
  • float or tread water for one minute; 
  • turn around in a full circle and find an exit
  • swim 25 yards to exit the water; and
  • exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

Learn CPR

  1. Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide

worlds largest swim lesson

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Feb. 26, 2020 

Registration for the 2020 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (#WLSL2020) is officially open. This year’s event will take place Thursday, June 18, 2020. Organizers are urging aquatic facilities of all types to utilize the global, one-day event to increase awareness about the importance of learning to swim in their local communities.

Registration is now open at WLSL.org. The 2020 event will take place over the course of 24 hours on Thursday, June 18th. #WLSL2020
Registration is now open at WLSL.org. The 2020 event will take place over the course of 24 hours on Thursday, June 18th. #WLSL2020

The worldwide event provides kids and parents exposure to life-saving water safety skills while building awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim and undistracted adult supervision to help prevent drowning.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ will take place on six continents over 24 hours on Thursday, June 18, 2020, as a platform for the aquatics industry to use one voice to send a clear message about the crucial importance of teaching kids to swim. Individual host locations and aquatics providers can conduct the 30-minute lesson any time of day they choose on the 18th.

Per the World Health Organization, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths worldwide. In the U.S., drowning remains the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause for children under 14.

However, there is reason to hope. Since the WLSL event launched in 2010, the Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ message has been shared with more than two billion people in the U.S. alone. Facilities of all kinds are encouraged to join TEAM WLSL® in their mission to prevent childhood drowning through education. Register at https://www.wlsl.org/WLSL/host_an_event.aspx

About The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™
WLSL was created as a platform to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning. WLSL events have provided more than 159,000 working hours of water safety training, more than 20,000 hours each year during the one-day event. Since its inception, more than 319,000 children and adults in 48 countries have participated in WLSL lessons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApSY4iFZCDc

Contact: 
Aleatha Ezra
234888@email4pr.com 
Phone: 913-599-0300

SOURCE World Waterpark Association

Related Links

http://WLSL.org

NDPA Lifesaver of the year award winner

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance is happy to announce that the winner of the 2020 Lifesaver of the Year Award is David Benjamin, Director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

The NDPA Lifesaver of the Year Award’s purpose is to acclaim and honor exceptional work in the advancement of water safety and drowning prevention, recognizing an organization’s or individual’s commitment to safer water and the reduction of drowning and aquatic injury.

The recipient of this award is chosen from a pool of candidates nominated to the NDPA and voted on through the NDPA Facebook Page. Having been confirmed by the NDPA Executive Committee and Board of Directors, this year’s recipient is Founder and Director of the Great Lakes Rescue Project, David Benjamin for the dedication he has shown in continuing to fight endlessly to prevent drownings through education and advocacy. 

David Benjamin, Director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
David Benjamin, Director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

The NDPA would like to thank Mr. Benjamin for his support and will be greatly honored to present this award at the awards ceremony to be held on Monday, April 6th during the 2020 National Water Safety Conference in Fort Worth, TX.

United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning! 

Water Safety USA is a roundtable of longstanding national nonprofit and governmental organizations with a strong record of providing drowning prevention and water safety programs, including public education.​

Water Safety USA logo
Be #WaterCautious. Prevent Unsupervised Access ​to Water

Water Safety USA’s mission is to empower people with resources, information, and tools to safely enjoy and benefit US aquatic environments. Its overarching approach is to engage in ongoing dialog aimed at improving the delivery of water safety information, tools and resources in such a way that their effectiveness is maximized.

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance is happy to announce that as of December 2019, the NDPA is an official member of Water Safety USA. “The NDPA is thrilled to announce our membership of such an important collective effort to combat drowning and make water safer.” said NDPA executive director Dr. Adam Katchmarchi. “We are proud and honored to join the roundtable and closely with other Water Safety USA members to enhance the mission of the NDPA.”

According to Water Safety USA, they have managed to harness the individual identities of each of its members as well as their objectives and further their reach through collective and collaborative strategies that are meant to increase the impact and effectiveness of our water safety and drowning prevention efforts.

With great satisfaction the NDPA joins the roundtable of equals that is Water Safety USA confident in the fact that will help us reach our ultimate goal of substantially reducing the number of unintentional drowning incidents and deaths reported in the United States of America.

Every day, an average of ten people die from unintentional drowning. Drowning continues to rank fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States and second for causes of death in children aged 14 and under. 

The NDPA continues to work hard to bring those numbers down through water safety awareness, education and advocacy. As 2019 draws to a close, we look back and take stock of the progress made to further our goals of drowning prevention:

These achievements would not have been possible without the support and contributions of all our members, partners and sponsors and above all the commitment and dedication of the NDPA Board Members. 

We are ready to welcome a new year and a new decade with redoubled efforts to prevent drowning and promote water safety best practices throughout the country.

United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning. Support the NDPA today!

The holidays are a time of lots of fun and activity in the average household. It is a time when most people are out of their normal, daily routine hosting family gatherings and celebrating with friends and neighbors. With all the hustle and bustle, accidents are more prone to happen which is why homeowners must make additional efforts to keep family members, guests and pets as safe as possible.

Bear in mind that ages and stages make a huge difference in home and water safety so be sure to take them into consideration when prepping your home for the December festivities because the littlest of details can make a huge difference.

The NDPA recently hosted an online webinar where our guest speakers shared a bevy of safety tips that can be easily applied during the holiday season. Here are a few basic precautions to ensure you and yours remain injury-free throughout the season.

  • Make a quick list of local emergency numbers to keep on hand and make copies for friends and family visiting. 
  • When cooking, set timers and always be attentive of what is on the stove to avoid fires.
  • Child safety should be delegated to someone who can actively supervise them without distractions. Hosts need to learn to “pass the baton” and make sure there is always someone watching the kids.
  • Walk your guests through your home and property and point out the layers of protection that are in place explaining what to be on the lookout for to make sure everyone is safe.
  • If you have open water areas on your property, set the rules as to where kids can go without an adult and be sure everyone is ware of them.
  • Designated watchers can play games to keep kids busy and occupied. Find fun ways to distract them so they don’t go our and seek entertainment on their own.
  • Use LED lights when decorating your home. They don’t get as hot as regular ones which means your tree won’t dry out so quickly and become a bigger fire hazard.
  • Make sure your tree is watered everyday to prevent early dryness.
  • Watch candle placements in your home and be sure they are far from curtains and not within reach of kids and pets. Be aware that they don’t burn down too low and crack the glass that encases them or that they burn the surface on which that are placed.
  • Put together a family newsletter in advance and send out before house-guests arrive. Go over it together and make sure the inherent safety message is well received.
  • A newsletter is also a great way to give family members information that can be shared with others such as emergency numbers, the exact address where they are staying and any emergency plan that you may have in place.
  • Make an action plan to get through an emergency that details who you are going to call and where you are going to go.
  • If the worst situation happens, be ready by knowing exactly where you are and where the nearest hospital  is. Try to stay calm during the emergency, call 911 and listen attentively to any instructions the operator might give you.
  • Learn CPR and make sure other family members and guests have this life-saving skill as well.

What safety measures do you have in place at home to prevent accidents during the holidays?