A coalition of water safety partners, including the American Red Cross, the National Recreation and Park Association, the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and the World Waterpark Association, along with dozens of other water safety groups will work together to promote May as National Water Safety Month (NWSM). NWSM engages the public to raise awareness about water safety and highlights the importance of public education regarding safer practices for kids and adults when they’re in and around water.
What started as a week in 2003 has grown into an annual month-long event that is supported by thousands of aquatics facilities and professionals through educational programs, public service announcements, governmental proclamations, dealer and aquatics business promotions and the distribution of water safety themed materials, designed to help prevent water-related fatalities, illnesses and injuries.
“National Water Safety Month is a powerful way to send a crucial message at the start of the busy summer swim season,” said Connie Harvey, director of the Aquatics Centennial Initiative for the Red Cross. “There are layers of protection involved in water safety. Ensuring everyone in the family learns how to swim and that parents and caregivers have the knowledge and skills to handle emergencies around the water, including how to perform CPR is a good place to start. National Water Safety Month helps us communicate these messages.”
Hundreds of water safety awareness and educational events take place during the month including:
International Water Safety Day – May 15
International Water Safety Day is designed to help spread global awareness of the ongoing drowning pandemic and educate youth in becoming safer in and around water. May 15 is a day to spread drowning awareness and water safety education by any means possible. Register to host an event and access free resources here.
Registration for World’s Largest Swimming Lesson – June 17
Celebrating its 12th year of saving lives, the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) holds open registration for aquatic facilities interested in being an official Host Location for the global event that takes place on June 17, 2021. Tens of thousands of kids participate to help build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning. Learn more about WLSL and register here.
“Park and recreation professionals throughout the nation provide aquatics programming at more than 70 percent of agencies,” said Julie Boland, NRPA vice president of credentialing and member operations. “At NRPA, we are proud to support National Water Safety Month and recognize the importance of providing access to opportunities for all people to learn to swim, especially children.”
“The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, in partnership with members and stakeholders, works year-round to promote the safe enjoyment of water,” said PHTA President & CEO, Sabeena Hickman. “We are proud to celebrate May as National Water Safety Month. Participation in National Water Safety month not only saves lives, but it helps promote the safe enjoyment of swimming to future generations.”
“With aquatic centers of all kinds closed last summer by the pandemic, millions of children did not have the chance to take swimming lessons and learn crucial swimming and water safety skills as they normally would,” said Rick Root, President of the World Waterpark Association, founding organization of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. “National Water Safety Month is a great way to get communities focused on sharing vital water safety messages to help families understand the importance of learning to swim as well as layers of protection to help prevent drowning.”
RESOURCES Detailed information and free resources in support of National Water Safety Month, for both consumers and businesses, can be found at nationalwatersafetymonth.org. Connect with National Water Safety Month on Twitter (@MayIsNWSM) and Facebook (@watersafetymonth).
A variety of Red Cross water safety resources are also available including our free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course which focuses on developing an awareness of the risks of drowning and how to minimize those risks, especially for young children.