FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2022
Director of Park Member Development
World Waterpark Association
National Recreation and Park Association
American Red Cross
Vice President, Marketing
Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
Leading Aquatics Organizations Champion Annual Water Safety Awareness
Campaign to Kick Off Peak Summer Swim Season and Help Save Lives
(OVERLAND PARK, KS) – The National Water Safety Coalition, led by American Red Cross, National Recreation and Park Association, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and World Waterpark Association, is celebrating its 19th annual National Water Safety Month (NWSM) this May. With support from water safety organizations across the country, the Coalition raises awareness about water safety and highlights the importance of public education regarding safer practices for kids and adults in and around water.
“Most child drownings occur during times without parent or guardian permission to be in the water or direct supervision,” said William D. Ramos, PhD, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. “National Water Safety Month is a powerful way to raise awareness of this fact at the start of the warm weather season. During this month and throughout the year, we are encouraging parents and caregivers to apply layers of protection – starting with preventing unsupervised access to water such as fencing pools and spas with adequate barriers. Other critical layers include providing constant attention to children in or near water, and always keeping an eye out for any water dangers such as portable splash pools, buckets and bathtubs, or any place where water may collect.”
For nearly 20 years, the Coalition has played a significant role leading the conversation on keeping families safer in the water. Its continued efforts to strengthen water safety education has led to key advocacy efforts with thousands of aquatics facilities and professionals throughout the U.S.
With educational programs, public service announcements, dealer and aquatics business promotions, and the distribution of water safety materials, the Coalition is committed to supporting safety initiatives that help prevent water-related fatalities, illnesses and injuries.
“Based on the 2022 NRPA Agency Performance Review, 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 equitable access to opportunities for all people to learn to swim.”
The Coalition supports water safety activities throughout the month, including:
“National Water Safety Month is a pivotal milestone to continue the important conversation about safety best practices in the water,” said Sabeena Hickman, President and CEO of Pool & Hot Tub Alliance. “PHTA is a proud member of the National Water Safety Coalition and we are grateful to our partners who join us in our mission to keep our children safe through swimming education.”
Swim activity increases in May, which is considered the official start to summer. With beaches, pools, waterparks and community centers buzzing, the Coalition is determined to spread water awareness to keep children and their families safe. Learning to swim and practicing safe behaviors are critical first steps.
“We’ve made a lot of progress since we launched the NWSM initiative, but we have a long way to go. Drowning is now the single leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and far too many parents and caregivers still don’t understand the risks,” said Rick Root, President of the World Waterpark Association. “NWSM is a compelling platform and thousands of members of the aquatics industry are committed to reaching their communities with these vital water safety messages.”
Detailed information and free resources in support of National Water Safety Month for consumers and businesses can be found at www.NationalWaterSafetyMonth.org.
About National Water Safety Coalition
National Water Safety Month is possible through the National Water Safety Coalition, led by American Red Cross, National Recreation and Park Association, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and World Waterpark Association. Since 2003, the Coalition and its supporters have brought safe, enjoyable aquatic activities to the public. To learn more, visit www.NationalWaterSafetyMonth.org.
About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with over 3,600 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org.