The 7th Annual National Drowning Prevention Symposium tackled the new national pool safety law; hyperbaric oxygen treatment; apartment-pool dangers; dealing with grief; and toddler swim lessons.
Nearly 130 attended the National Drowning Prevention Alliance?s two-day event in March, which included seminars encouraging collaboration in several areas.
One such area is legislation. In the opening session, Dr. Robert Pitt described how national pool safety legislation in his native Australia helped reduce domestic drownings 40 percent. He said education and partnership were key to that success and recommended similar efforts in the United States.
Another area is education. Describing the benefits of swim lessons in drowning prevention were Johnny Johnson, president of NDPA and the Swim for Life Foundation, and director of the Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin, Calif., and Dr. Julie Gilchrist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To further highlight the importance of education, attendees watched a demonstration that anecdotally showed the value of early swim lessons.
?It was great to see the various aspects of our collective industries coming together to address these challenges,? said Bob Hubbard, owner of Hubbard Family Swim School in Phoenix. ?There seemed to be a real push to eliminate territoriality.?
More than 3,000 drowning-related deaths are reported in the United States each year. It remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 14 and under, according to the CDC, based in Atlanta.