With May coming quickly, you’re probably busy with last-minute preparations for the summer swim season. Nationwide hundreds, maybe thousands, also are preparing. Organizations and
individuals are coming together, launching campaigns to promote
water safety. Here’s a look at what’s going on and how
you can still participate.
National Water Safety Month nationalwatersafetymonth.com
A joint effort of the American Red Cross (a new partner for 2011),
Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, National Recreation
and Park Association, and World Waterpark Association, May is
National Water Safety Month.
This year’s event includes water safety fairs, official
government proclamations, media coverage and public service
announcements. A new Website features free downloadable resources,
including posters, brochures and tips on hosting an event at your
“On the site you can find simple steps for planning a water
safety fair, and easy steps for planning a press conference to
announce National Water Safety Month in your local
community,” said Helen Bloch, manager, consumer safety and
sponsorships, at APSP. “We also added a blog. ...
Additionally, we will be continually enhancing the Web site and our
Facebook page, with interactive games, surveys, videos, photos and
Other participating organizations include the Master Pools Guild,
the Florida Spa & Pool Association, the National Drowning
Prevention Alliance and the National Swimming Pool
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s public
information campaign associated with the VGBA is titled “Pool
Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives.” Launched May, 24 2010,
partners now include Abbey’s Hope, ARC, APSP, Home Safety
Council, NDPA, Safe Kids USA, The Y, and WWA.
CPSC spokeswoman Kathleen Reilly said this year’s message is
the same, but the reach continues to grow. “We don’t
have a new look, but more information and more ways to get to
people,” she noted. New mesaging tools include the
introduction of two new cartoon characters, Splish and Splash, set
to appear in three Web videos geared toward children; and a new
“share your story” feature on the Website.
Tying into National Water Safety Month, the second week of the
month is Pool Safely Week. “We’re partnering with the
CPSC campaign to get out more of their materials and
messaging,” Bloch said. Other partners are providing
information for consumers and professionals.
“The NDPA got a contract from the CPSC to focus primarily on
educating consumers on the Pool Safely campaign,” said
Maureen Williams, communications manager, North America, at D&D
Technologies (Huntington Beach, Calif.), and founding president of
NDPA. “Part of our program is a Pool & Spa Safety
Technician Training Program. Other key deliverables are a video and
The Pool & Spa Safety Technician Training Program is designed
to train aquatics professionals, public health employees and
eventually any community member to conduct voluntary safety checks
for residential pool owners. In addition, NDPA also is exhibiting
at various shows and community events, and has developed a
curriculum for nursery schools.
World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
The second annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is set for
June 14, 2011. Worldwide, participants will unite in an attempt to
set a new record. Last year’s inaugural event established the
Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson.
It included 4,000 participants across 34 states and five
But the larger goal is to promote the message that “swimming
lessons save lives.“ The official headquarters will again be
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon waterpark in Florida. Organizers
expect more participants in 2011, and facilities interested in
serving as a host location have until May 20 to register for free
Olympic gold medalists Rowdy Gaines and Janet Evans are returning
as the official spokespeople for the 2011 event.
Gaines will be master of ceremonies at Typhoon Lagoon.“Being
part of The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is a great honor
for me,“ Gaines said. “I think of drowning as an
epidemic in our country that doesn’t need to be. This is a
great way to promote swimming lessons in general, and my hope this
year is to be able to spread the message even more.”