The foundation of water safety often begins in the earliest years of life. Recognizing the importance of starting swimming lessons at a young age is crucial in fostering a lifelong dedication to water safety. This month, we focus on Becky Puhl, a remarkable advocate in the field whose own journey underscores the significant impact of early aquatic education. Becky’s story is a testament to how early immersion in water safety can cultivate a deep-seated commitment to preventing drownings and promoting safe water practices throughout life.
We are proud to announce our December 2023 Water Safety Champion of The Month, Becky Puhl.
Early Beginnings in Water Safety
Becky’s journey into the world of water safety began unusually early. Enrolled in swimming lessons before she was even a year old, her affinity with water was evident. By age 5, she was already a part of a swim team, marking the start of a lifelong commitment to aquatic safety.
Her understanding of the importance of water safety grew through various personal experiences. From witnessing a child’s near-drowning to babysitting at a young age, she recognized the ever-present dangers associated with water. Her experiences culminated in her becoming a lifeguard, a role that further solidified her dedication to preventing water-related accidents and inspired her to take that dedication further.
A Mother’s Resolve
As a single mother, Becky faced the challenge of ensuring her children were water-safe. With limited resources, she took it upon herself to teach her daughter to swim in their apartment pool. Later, living by a lake, she ensured her son learned survival swim techniques, further deepening her commitment to water safety.
Her personal experiences fueled her desire to teach others, especially special needs children, the critical skills of water safety. However, Becky’s approach involves not just teaching children but also educating the community about returning children who wander off to their guardians, a vital aspect of preventing drownings.
Advocacy and Future Goals
With over 25 years of experience in drowning prevention, Becky understands the nuances of drowning statistics and the importance of accurate reporting. Her advocacy led her to challenge how drownings are coded, influencing more accurate state and national data representation.
Becky also aims to enhance awareness around Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) and accurate drowning reporting. Her vision includes highlighting the risks posed by environmental changes and emphasizing the collective responsibility in understanding water-related dangers.
Leaving a Lasting Impact
With a track record of teaching over 3,000 children and training numerous instructors, Becky’s influence stretches across Florida and Texas. Her involvement in various initiatives, including WaterSmart Florida and partnerships with organizations like Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia Counties, continues to drive her mission forward.
Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!
Becky Puhl’s story is one of passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to making water a safe environment for all. Her journey from a young swimmer to a respected water safety instructor and advocate exemplifies how individual dedication can lead to widespread change. As we celebrate Becky’s achievements, let’s draw inspiration from her efforts and remember that each of us plays a role in ensuring water safety in our communities.
Thank you for being a Water Safety Champion!
If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who is, we want to hear your story.
Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.