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Water Safety Champion of The Month Dr. Ben Hoffman


The fight against child drowning, a leading cause of accidental death among young children, requires the collective effort of communities, families, and medical professionals, especially pediatricians. Pediatric support plays a pivotal role in drowning prevention efforts, offering trusted guidance to parents and advocating for water safety from an early age.

With the backing and advocacy of voices like Dr. Ben Hoffman, together with the NDPA, drowning prevention has become a more prominent topic than it’s ever been. 

We are proud to announce our February 2024 Water Safety Champion of The Month, Dr. Ben Hoffman.

From Child Passenger Safety to Water Safety Advocacy

As the current President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Ben Hoffman has become a pivotal figure in the realm of childhood safety and wellbeing, leveraging his expertise and compassion to make significant strides in this critical field. His journey from focusing on child passenger safety to diving deep into the challenges of water safety and drowning prevention showcases his commitment to safeguarding children’s lives across various spectrums of risk.

However, recognizing the broader spectrum of risks that children face, he expanded his focus to include water safety and drowning prevention. His collaborative efforts with the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention have been instrumental in developing comprehensive strategies and policies aimed at mitigating these risks, including an educational program for pediatric healthcare providers.

His engagement with families who have endured the unimaginable loss of a child to drowning has fueled his passion and determination to drive meaningful change. Under his guidance, the development of a policy statement and educational campaign marked a significant evolution in the academy’s approach to addressing specific injury areas and enhancing family engagement.


Drowning Prevention: A Persistent Challenge

Hoffman has been vocal about the existing gaps in infrastructure and support for research in the drowning prevention space. He highlights the persistent nature of this problem and the critical need for a multifaceted approach that includes multiple layers of protection to safeguard children from drowning. Through scientific evidence and collaboration, he aims to address the pressing questions that can lead to more impactful changes in water safety advocacy.

Equity and Justice in Water Competency Training

A crucial aspect of Dr. Hoffman’s advocacy is addressing the disparities in access to water competence training, especially among marginalized and minority-based communities. He underscores the importance of tackling equity and justice issues related to water safety, pointing out how these disparities significantly affect drowning rates. Providing resources and access to opportunities for swimming lessons is vital, particularly for children and young adults with intellectual and developmental differences.


Personalizing Water Safety

Understanding the unique needs of each family, Dr. Hoffman emphasizes the significance of personalized water safety plans. He advocates for constant supervision of young children around water and promotes water competency training as an effective measure to reduce drowning incidents among children aged one to four.

Advancing Drowning Prevention and Community Engagement

In discussions about the progress and hurdles in child drowning prevention and advocacy, Dr. Hoffman and colleagues shed light on the necessity for increased awareness and resources. They advocate for a cultural shift towards recognizing drowning prevention as an essential life skill for every child, emphasizing community involvement and the co-creation of tailored prevention strategies that resonate with local needs and challenges.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Water Safety Champion of the Month Dr. Ben Hoffman, his leadership and dedication have been instrumental in propelling forward the cause of child injury prevention, particularly in the realms of water safety and drowning prevention. His holistic approach, combining policy development, community engagement, and advocacy for equity, sets a commendable example in the ongoing effort to protect children from preventable injuries.

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.