American Red Cross and Other Organizations Come Together to Decrease National Drowning
Washington (Tuesday, April 12, 2016) - Water Safety USA has been established by a consortium of national governmental and nongovernmental organizations concerned with water safety and drowning prevention. Water Safety USA aims to empower people with resources, information, and tools to more safely enjoy and benefit from our nation's aquatic environments. Water Safety USA will work to align safety advice from member organizations and magnify the reach of that advice in an effort to collaboratively improve water safety.
Aligned messaging was sought by the organizations because the American public receives water safety advice from many diverse sources. Sometimes these messages inadvertently conflict. To the degree that messaging can be simplified and made more consistent, there is a greater chance that it will be understood and followed. Water Safety USA also intends to work to help prioritize efforts toward the areas needing the greatest focus.
According to Water Safety USA moderator B. Chris Brewster, “We’ve all agreed we’ll be even more effective working together. As our messaging aligns and we promote it in concert, public understanding should improve, and safer use of our waters will be the result.”
Water Safety USA is a roundtable of equals. The founding members of Water Safety USA are the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Park Service, National Safe Boating Council, National Swimming Pool Foundation, Safe Kids Worldwide, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, United States Lifesaving Association, USA Swimming Foundation, and YMCA of the USA. Each has a strong record of providing drowning prevention and water safety programs, including public education.
In addition to better messaging, the members of Water Safety USA hope to help identify evidence-based strategies to promote water safety and to promote the collection and analysis of reliable, standardized data to assist in development and more effective targeting of prevention programs and strategies. The group believes that by working together, the combined strength will lead to increased impact and effectiveness of its members’ prevention efforts.
Drowning is a leading cause of death and injury in the USA. Water accidents can be devastating, but with proper safety precautions, water is one of our healthiest recreational environments. Water Safety USA believes by working collaboratively it can meaningfully reduce the nearly 5,800 annual trips to emergency rooms and more than 3,800 deaths due to drowning. The good news is that drowning is almost always preventable.
People can learn more about Water Safety USA and our initiatives at watersafetyusa.org.
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