Learning to swim and exposure to water safety skills provide a lifelong foundation for drowning prevention, which is why Governor Kevin Stitt has proclaimed May as Water Safety Month. His office joins the National Water Safety Coalition – which is led by American Red Cross, the National Recreation and Park Association, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, and World Waterpark Association – in encouraging citizens to stay “water aware” this May and throughout the year.
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. The City of Norman is a proud participant in the National Water Safety Coalition and supports water safety skills for residents through its swim lesson program, fit for any level of swimmer. More information on the program can be found at: https://www.normanok.gov/residents-visitors/parks-recreation/westwood-family-aquatic-center/swim-lessons
“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.”
Other ways the City of Norman is highlighting water safety activities include:
• Water Safety Program for Norman Public Schools
A FREE Water Safety Program provided through Norman Public Schools for elementary school students in grades 2-5 to participate in a swimming lesson and help spread the word that Swimming Lessons Save Lives.
• World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
Celebrating its 14th year of saving lives, the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) (June 23, 2023) is a global event launched by the World Waterpark Association. With thousands of participants, leading aquatics facilities build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.
• Teen Aquatics Safety Program
This program will focus on developing an understanding of the pool rules and why they are implemented, proper facility safety, appropriate behavior and use of the facility, respecting others, and foster a positive relationship with the staff and is required for anyone ages 13 – 15 who would like to swim at the pool unsupervised.
For more information on the activities listed above, visit: https://www.normanok.gov/.../westwood-family-aquatic-center.
Swim activity increases in May, which is considered the official start to summer. With beaches, pools, water parks 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. Detailed information and free resources in support of National Water Safety Month can be found at www.NationalWaterSafetyMonth.org