WATER SAFETY: IT'S LEARNING TO SWIM AND SO MUCH MOREWater Safety USA
May 15, 2016
Recently established Water Safety USA, a consortium of 13 national governmental and nongovernmental organizationsannounced the group's primary safety message for 2016; 'Water Safety: it's learning to swim and so much more.'
Each organization will take time to focus its swim season messaging to assert that everyone should learn swimming and basic water safety skills before they are unexpectedly in the water. Water Safety USA also offers many resources provided by the organizations at watersafetyusa.org which provides help on why and how a person should learn to swim.
The messaging falls in line with May as the National Water Safety Month, which promotes safety in, on, or around bodies of water for people of all ages. Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children aged 1-14 years old. In fact, more children aged 1-4 years die from drowning than any other cause except birth defects. These deaths are preventable which is why the opening month of swim season, May, is also known as National Drowning Prevention Month.
"Warm weather is on the way, which means many families will be heading to beaches, pools, lakes, and waterparks. The many organizations that make up Water Safety USA want to make sure the adults are prepared and inform them on how beneficial swim lessons can be," said Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph. D., a Water Safety USA representative from the National Swimming Pool Foundation. "The CDC reported in 2015 that every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. It breaks my heart because drowning is preventable with proper lessons and following simple safety tips."
Water safety is about having an educated respect for the water, including an understanding of the layers of protection needed to keep the public safer when in, on, and around water. Water Safety USA has come together to promote learning to swim to the public and to educate through safety tips for each outlet of aquatic fun. Messages and tips on safety at pools and waterparks, natural bodies of water, and the home environment can be found at watersafetyusa.org. Water Safety USA encourages anyone to use the messaging and tips, including organizations or groups.
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for all ages in the United States, which is why Water Safety USA highly encourages people of all ages to participate in formal swim lessons. The likelihood of a child drowning can be reduced by 88 percent with formal swim lessons.
Learning to swim means much more than learning strokes though; it is learning water survival skills, practicing water safety, and developing comfort in the water. Drowning is a silent killer that can be avoided when children and parents are taught water safety and basic swim skills.
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