By: Melissa Fadler and Joey LaNeve
As an aquatics professional, you have the opportunity to promote water safety awareness and prevent drowning incidents in your facility. Drowning is a serious issue that can occur in any body of water, regardless of size or depth, and it is important to take proactive measures to prevent such incidents.
One of the most effective ways to promote water safety awareness is through education. You can provide your staff, patrons, and the community with information about the importance of water safety, the risks of drowning, and the steps that can be taken to prevent such incidents such as our R.E.S.P.E.C.T. the Water drowning prevention campaign. This can be done through various channels, including signage, pamphlets, and safety talks.
Signage is a powerful tool to promote water safety awareness. Place signs around the pool area that remind swimmers of safety rules and precautions, such as “No Running,” “No Diving,” “Swim with a Buddy,” and “Stay Within Arm’s Reach of Children.” These signs should be easily visible and placed in strategic locations, such as near the pool entrance, diving board, and shallow end.
In addition to signage, you can also distribute pamphlets and other educational materials to swimmers and their families. These materials can provide information about water safety, including the risks of drowning, the importance of adult supervision, and the benefits of swimming lessons. You can also include information about CPR and other life-saving techniques that can be used in the event of an emergency.
Another effective way to promote water safety awareness is through safety talks. You can schedule regular safety talks with your staff and patrons to discuss water safety and reinforce the importance of following safety rules and precautions. These talks can cover a range of topics, including pool rules, CPR techniques, and emergency procedures.
Swimming lessons are also an important component of water safety awareness. Offering swimming lessons to patrons of all ages and skill levels, including children, adults, and seniors can be the foundation of any aquatic program. Swimming lessons not only teach individuals how to swim but also provide them with important water safety skills, such as how to float, tread water, and perform basic rescue techniques. By offering swimming lessons, you can empower individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe in and around the water.
In addition to education and swimming lessons, there are several other measures you can take to promote water safety awareness and prevent drowning incidents. One such measure is to ensure that your facility is properly maintained and equipped with safety features, such as fencing, lifeguard stands, coast guard approved life jacket requirements for week or non-swimmers and rescue equipment. You should also enforce safety rules and precautions, such as prohibiting diving in the shallow end and requiring adult supervision for children.
Regular safety inspections and maintenance checks are also important to ensure that your facility is safe and in compliance with local regulations. This includes checking the pool’s chemical levels, ensuring that the drain covers are secure and up to code, and inspecting the pool area for hazards.
Promoting water safety awareness is a critical component of running a safe and successful public swimming pool. By educating your staff, patrons, and the community about the importance of water safety and taking proactive measures to prevent drowning incidents, you can help ensure that everyone who visits your facility stays safe and enjoys a positive swimming experience.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Water-related injuries: Facts and figures. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html
- American Red Cross. (2022). Water safety tips. Retrieved from https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.html
- National Swimming Pool Foundation. (2022). Aquatic risk management guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.nspf.org/content/aquatic-risk-management-guidelines
- American Academy of Pediatrics. (2019). Policy statement—Prevention of drowning. Pediatrics, 143(5), e20190850. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-0850
National Recreation and Park Association. (2017). Aquatic facility operator manual. Retrieved from https://www.nrpa.org/globalassets/8d1f85c4-ef6b-4f09-8d60-2ad4b41a858c/resource-documents/aquatic-facility-operator-manual.pdf