Water Safety USA Launches: Organizations Come Together to Decrease National Drowning

April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016 – Water Safety USA, recently established by a consortium of national governmental and nongovernmental organizations concerned with water safety and drowning prevention, aims to empower people with resources, information and tools to more safely enjoy and benefit from our nation’s aquatic environments. Water Safety USA will work to align safety advice from member organizations and magnify the reach of that advice in an effort to collaboratively improve water safety.

The organizations seek to align their messaging because the American public receives water safety advice from many diverse sources. Sometimes these messages inadvertently conflict. To the degree that messaging can be simplified and made more consistent, there is a greater chance that it will be understood and followed. Water Safety USA also intends to work to help prioritize efforts toward the areas needing the greatest focus.

According to Water Safety USA moderator B. Chris Brewster, “We all agree that we’ll be even more effective working together. As our messaging aligns and we promote it in concert, public understanding should improve, and safer use of our waters will be the result.”

Water Safety USA is a roundtable of equals. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which leads Pool Safely (the Federal government’s largest public education campaign on drowning prevention), joins the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Park Service, National Safe Boating Council, National Swimming Pool Foundation, Safe Kids Worldwide, U.S. Coast Guard, United States Lifesaving Association, USA Swimming Foundation and YMCA of the USA as a founding member of Water Safety USA. Each organization has a strong record of providing drowning prevention and water safety programs, including public education.

In addition to better messaging, members of Water Safety USA hope to help identify evidence-based strategies to promote water safety and to promote the collection and analysis of reliable, standardized data to assist in development and more effective targeting of prevention programs and strategies. The group believes that by working together, the combined strength will lead to increased impact and effectiveness of its members’ prevention efforts.

Drowning is a leading cause of death and injury in the USA, especially among children 1-4 years old. Water accidents can be devastating, but with proper safety precautions, water is one of our healthiest recreational environments. Water Safety USA believes by working collaboratively it can significantly reduce the nearly 5,800 annual trips to emergency rooms and more than 3,800 deaths due to drowning. The good news is that drowning is always preventable.

Learn more about Water Safety USA and our initiatives at: www.watersafetyusa.org.