Safety. It’s the one word I say as much as “swimming.” Teaching the importance of water safety is the leading reason I do what I do. It has become my life’s purpose to help people stay safe around the water. There’s such joy in seeing babies do a back float or toddlers learn rules that can ultimately save their lives.
When May rolls around every year, I am so proud to shout this message from the rooftops. (Even more than I already do.) As we launch into the prime swimming season, I hope to not read one single article about a preventable drowning death. I want every parent, grandparent, babysitter, lifeguard, every single person to understand their role in keeping our little ones safe.
Whether your intention for signing up for swimming lessons is to prepare the next Olympic athlete or help your child overcome a fear of water, it doesn’t matter to me. Those lessons will equip your swimmers to save their own lives.
Here are a few staggering facts from the CDC that illustrate the importance of this month’s message:
- Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger.
- Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
- Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.
- The main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, location, failure to wear life jackets, alcohol use, and seizure disorders.
- Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets), and even in the presence of lifeguards.
We all think, “I love my child; this could never happen to me!” Sadly, that is just not the case!
Please take this message seriously. Please visit our National Water Safety Month page for tips and a downloadable pledge to be a safe swimmer. Share YOUR tales of safe swimming, learning the joys of the water or watching your loved ones learn life-saving and fun techniques.
Have fun – and be safe!
Thanks for being part of the BSS family,
Founder & CEO