As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Pool Safely is taking this time to give thanks to our network of more than 1,100 campaign partners. Throughout the past year, our partners have spread the word about water safety, and we’re so thankful for the outreach and activities they do to make their communities safer. Here are several examples of the life-saving work our partners accomplished over the past year that make us thankful:
Take the Pledge! Our partners know that taking the Pool Safely Pledge is a great way to ensure adults and kids are safer in and around water. Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County and the National Safety Council had their staff take the Pledge this year, and the Florida Swim School ensured that children enrolled in swimming lessons also took the Pledge. If you haven’t taken the Pledge, you can do so as a family this holiday season.
Have a designated Water Watcher. Our partners understand the importance of having a designated Water Watcher any time children are in or near the water. This past spring, Boynton Beach Recreation & Parks Department held a contest to design Water Watcher tags to be worn by lifeguards and camp counselors at local pools. Faith, a local 9-year-old, won the contest with her eye-popping design!
Advocate for others. Pool Safely partners work tirelessly to advocate for their families, friends and communities to ensure #notonemoredrowning. Events like the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s (NDPA) Educational Conference are prime examples of advocacy and collaboration in action. This past year, CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle gave the NDPA’s keynote address, which highlighted how the campaign’s dedicated partner collaborations are truly a force for good, leading to a 17 percent decrease in fatal child pool and spa drownings in 2017.
Nurture a respect for water safety from a young age. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, children who are afraid of drowning are 67 percent more likely to have no or low swimming ability. Whether it’s through teaching the importance of life jackets, like NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County, or the efforts of Float Like a Duck, to teach children how to float, these organizations know such efforts foster a respect and understanding of water safety.
Know that knowledge is power. When children lack good swimming skills, drownings and close calls are eight times more likely to occur, which is why our partners work tirelessly to educate their communities. From sharing water safety tips at baseball games, like Splash Medics’ Toby the Dolphin, to water safety story time offered by the Suffolk, VA, Sheriff’s Office, our partners are always finding creative ways to share water safety knowledge with others.
Partners are Fixtures in their communities. Our partners are always participating in community activities, reminding residents that water safety never has an off-season. Partners like The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County, FL, and Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation, are actively involved in their communities, year-round.
Understand the importance of knowing CPR. Our partners know that CPR saves lives. We’re thankful for organizations, like CPR Party, that have dedicated their time to teaching this lifesaving skill to kids and adults. This past summer, CPR Party taught CPR lessons to families at a special event, co-hosted by Pool Safely and the Michael Phelps Foundation, celebrating 10 years of the Michael Phelps Foundation and the 10 years since the passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) Pool & Spa Safety Act.
Learn to Swim. Our partners stress that it is critical for all members of a family to learn to swim, because if a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13 percent chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim. This past year, partners such as Howard’s Hope, Diversity in Aquatics, and G.I.L.L.S., among many others, helped provide free swimming lessons to kids of all ages.
Partners, thank you for everything you do! If you’re not a partner, and would like to learn more about becoming one, please visit our “Become a Partner” page.