Drowning IS Preventable! was the ubiquitous message that was presented at the National Drowning Prevention Alliance 11th Annual National Drowning Prevention Symposium in San Diego from March 7-10. The Symposium’s 2012 theme was “Everybody’s In,” and all in attendance were IN support to prevent this important international issue.
The educational Symposium offered the best-of-the-best in research, products, educational programming, outreach strategies, policy & code, international relations and other topics related to drowning prevention.
Presenters focused on drowning prevention and water safety, covering a variety of different topics. However, three themes were present in each of the presentations: Safer Water, Safer Kids and Safer Response.
SAFER WATER: Presentations topics focused on the aspects of making the water safer, such as safety products, barriers, supervision, lifeguarding, enforcement, policy and legislation for all bodies of water.
SAFER KIDS: Presentation topics focused on the aspects of educating and preparing children and adults to be safer around water, such as swim instruction, educational programs, awareness campaigns, life jackets/PFDs, behavior modifications, etc. Evidence demonstrated at the Symposium shows that formal swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88% in children. If the parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13% chance that the child will learn to swim.
SAFER RESPONSE: Presentation topics focused on the response to drowning incidents, such as emergency preparedness, water rescue techniques and education; CPR and rescue breathing; first response strategies and processes; medical treatment and care, etc.
Johnny Johnson, president of the Swim for Life Foundation, was inspired to hear presenter after presenter reference the Safer 3 in principle and in words. He exclaimed, "It is so exciting to see the ever increasing acceptance of the concept of the Safer 3 message. In the 10 years since the message was introduced, we have seen the steady growth of support to this simple, yet comprehensive, approach. We recognize the risks that are always present when we are in, on or around water and then provide strategies to reduce those risks. Drowning IS Preventable... Follow the Safer 3!"