For many families, summer involves some sort of water play – whether it’s time at the beach, in the pool, or just playing in the backyard. To help keep children safe, British Swim School has launched a “Water Watcher” education campaign.

What is a Water Watcher and why are they important? Birch McMillan, British Swim School franchise owner in St. Louis, recently joined FOX 2 St. Louis to discuss!

About our Water Watcher Safety Program

When children are swimming, there should always be a “Water Watcher” on duty – an adult whose only job is to watch the pool. Contrary to popular belief, most drowning happen even with adult supervision. In fact, the AAP cites research that found 9 out of 10 drowning deaths for children younger than 14 happened while the child was being supervised.

The “Water Watcher” education campaign aims to save lives by always promoting vigilance and supervision. By having someone who’s committed to watching the water, we can avoid drownings by catching them before they become serious!

Characteristics of an Appropriate Water Watcher:

  • At least 16 years of age (adults preferred)
  • Has the skills, knowledge, and the ability to recognize and rescue someone in distress or can immediately alert someone nearby who does or can.
  • Knows CPR or can immediately alert someone nearby who can.
  • Has a working phone to call for emergency help, which is typically 9-1-1.
  • Has a floatation device and/or reaching object that can be used in a rescue.
  • Is ALERT and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or distracted by texting, telephone, or talking to others or reading.

Appoint a “Water Watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings near any body of water. Download a Water Watcher card and Water Watcher badge to help you and your friends take turns supervising the water!