Summer is approaching quickly and it’s a great time to refresh your water safety skills. May is National Water Safety Month (APSP). By celebrating water safety, we encourage skills and behaviors that can save lives.
This month’s initiatives aim to prevent accidental drowning by promoting ongoing public education. We can never really be safe – but we can make the effort to be SAFER. In New Jersey, the Governor has even signed a proclamation encouraging residents to help promote and support this cause. The goal is to develop safer people, safer water and safer response with swim education.
Is it Necessary to Learn to Swim?
Knowing proper water safety and how to swim is an important skill for a safe, confident, and healthy swimmer:
10 people will die from unintentional drowning in the US today. Two of these will be children aged 14 or younger. Accidental drowning is the second leading cause of death for US children under age 5.
Swimming is a great way to stay active. It utilizes multiple muscle groups at the same time building strength and flexibility. Swimming is a heart healthy exercise for people of any age.
Swimming is one of the best summertime activities. It also opens up the doors for competition, water sports, kayaking, tubing, and whole other long list of water-based activities.
Make Water Safety a Priority
Being prepared around water is imperative. The American Red Cross offers a number of tips to help families stay safe:
- Learn how to swim. Age-appropriate swim classes help both children and adults learn to swim safely and confidently.
- Only swim in designated areas. Choose a location near a lifeguard if possible. If not, swim with a buddy but never swim alone.
- Have family rules in place about playing in water. Highlight the differences between fun and dangerous horseplay.
- Never leave a child unattended near water. Install barriers around pools and hot tubs as an extra layer of protection.
- Maintain constant supervision and avoid distractions.
- Be cautious around open bodies of water. Temperatures, strong currents, and underwater hazards can make these especially dangerous.
- Have weak swimmers wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket. This is especially important when boating.
Learn How to Respond in a Water Emergency
Accidents can happen in an instant, so it is important to have a plan of action ready in case of an emergency.
- Determine how to identify a swimmer in distress.
- If a child is missing, check the water first.
- Review objects on hand that can be used to help a victim out of the water (i.e. – a life ring or pole).
- Know how to contact emergency services immediately.
- Become certified in CPR and basic first aid
Swim Instruction and Education
Assembly members are voting on the A-269 NJ Legislative Bill. This bill will require school districts to provide instruction about water safety as part of New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education.
Water safety education is an absolute priority. Drowning is preventable if the right resources are provided to reduce the risks.
At Njswim, we have dedicated the last 18 years to educating the community about water safety.
We try to take every opportunity to teach the youth important water skills. We have provided schools, girl scout troops, camps, and even HOA’s with water safety training. Our presentations are fun and informative, teaching skills like:
- Basic aquatic safety skills
- Self-rescue techniques
- Recognizing distressed swimmers
- Reaching or throwing assists
- Basic first aid
- Emergency action plan implementation
- Much, much more
National Water Safety Month is a countrywide collaboration to increase the awareness of water safety. Spread the word and help stop preventable deaths. Please contact us for more information on how Njswim can help your family get the water safety skills they need.
Additional information about the A-269 NJ Legislative Bill can be found here. If you would like the details for your district’s assembly person, please contact us.