If you’re not in the business of water safety, you might not know know that May is National Water Safety Month (aka Water Safety Awareness Month.)
I searched several ‘awareness of the month’ calendars and didn’t find it included on any of them. There were hundreds of subjects for awareness like autism, asthma & allergy, Alzheimer’s, and adoption. I found out that May is also National Asparagus Month.
I’m in shock! How can something so important be left out?
How can it be that water safety is not everywhere?!?
Water is everywhere. It’s unavoidable.
There are 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth
71% of the Earth’s surface is water
65% of the human body is water
Yet we have alarming statistics like this:
70% of African American children cannot swim
60% of Latino children cannot swim
40% of Caucasian children cannot swim
Ten people drown each day in the U.S.
Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of childhood unintentional death for children under the age of 14
Participation in formal swimming lessons could reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%
Water safety education is not just about learning to swim. It’s learning and living by simple rules in order to prevent disasters and save lives. You don’t put metal in a microwave, you don’t stick a fork into a socket, you don’t put your hand in boiling water. Water safety rules should be just as familiar to us as these basic precautions.
If you learn nothing else about water safety, PLEASE remember these 3 things.
1. Drowning is silent. In every fatal or near fatal case of drowning, the victim goes under water without thrashing about and yelling for help.
2. NEVER swim alone. Even the strongest swimmers can drown.
3. WATCH your child/children. Do not take your eyes off of them. It doesn’t matter how well they can swim (see #2.) Watch them vigilantly if they are anywhere NEAR a body of water- you never know when they’ll end up IN the water.
There are so many more water safety tips (I think they should be called rules not tips) that everyone should know. Read more water safety rules HERE.
Dozens of companies, foundations and associations take the initiative to spread awareness all year. American Red Cross, USA Swimming, Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, World Waterpark Association, Michael Phelps Foundation, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and many more. Most of these organizations sponsor special events every May to mark Water Safety Awareness Month.
For example, USA Swimming Foundation, in association with Phillips 66, will kick off the sixth annual Make a Splash Tour on May 6, 2014. this event will tour 4 U.S. Cites and feature appearances by several Olympic Medalists. The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim.
You can find more tour details HERE.
What can you do to spread water safety awareness?