The ZAC Foundation and American Red Cross Partner to Drive Down Drownings in the U.S.
Washington, D.C., June 20, 2017 — The ZAC Foundation and the American Red Cross, both leaders in water safety education and drowning prevention, today announced a national partnership aimed at reducing drowning in communities where drowning rates are high.
As families take to the water this summer season, the sad truth remains that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause for children 5-14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, drowning can be prevented if the proper precautions are taken, including partaking in water safety classes.
That is why The ZAC Foundation is providing a series of grants to the Red Cross Centennial Campaign for its Learn-to-Swim program, as well as CPR and lifeguard training. The 2017 partnership will focus on the Boys & Girls Clubs in these three cities – Chicago, San Antonio, Texas, and Bay County, Fla. – all of which have higher-than-average drowning rates.
These locations will also benefit from a swimming safety program by The ZAC Foundation, called ZAC Camps, which brings weeklong lessons about water safety and drowning prevention to Boys & Girls Clubs around the country. Children who complete ZAC Camp will be provided unlimited Red Cross Learn-to-Swim lessons through the partnership until they earn their swimming certification.
“Our partnership with the American Red Cross will provide invaluable classes and lifeguard training to reach our mutual goal of helping to end drownings,” said Karen Cohn, co-founder of The ZAC Foundation. “Learning to swim is an essential life skill, and through classes and education, we can empower children and their families to be as safe as possible around water.”
In addition to the Learn-to-Swim program, the partnership will extend to families, in the selected communities, the opportunity to learn Pediatric CPR and AED skills as well as how to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies, all at little or no cost. Further, the campaign is also helping to train junior lifeguards and swim instructors from these communities to instill water safety education and local capacity for training for years to come.
“We know that many families understand the importance of swim lessons, but we also want to remind parents that everyone needs to know how to enjoy the water safely and how to respond to a water emergency, including how to perform CPR,” said Connie Harvey, director of the Red Cross Aquatics Centennial Campaign. “The funding from The ZAC Foundation for critical programs that teach the littlest of swimmers to parents and future water safety leaders will help save countless lives.”
The partnership between The ZAC Foundation and the Red Cross first began as a pilot program in Chicago in 2016 and has since provided:
Red Cross Aquatic Providers across the country who are part of the Centennial Campaign, and who are providing low-cost and scholarship programs, can be found here: redross.org/centennialswim.
About The ZAC Foundation
The ZAC Foundation was established in 2008 by Brian and Karen Cohn after the loss of their 6-year-old son Zachary Archer Cohn in a pool drain entrapment in their backyard swimming pool. Through education and advocacy, the Foundation is dedicated to preparing children and their families for a lifetime of swimming safety. To learn more about The ZAC Foundation, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and thezacfoundation.com.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.