California Water Safety Coalition

Update on water safety efforts across California

There is so much good work going on across California to improve water safety and prevent drownings this summer and beyond. Below we do our best to provide several important updates on data, events, interventions, and webinars.

Of course, please share with us the work you or your organizations are doing in this space.
In recognition of the Juneteenth holiday, let’s start with an issue we unpacked at the 2022 Water Safety Summit: diversity, equity, and inclusion in the drowning prevention space.

The below video captures a discussion led by Dr. Miriam Lynch of Diversity in Aquatics, national champion Byron Davis, USA Water Polo’s John Abdou, and Rowan University’s Dr. Angela Beale Tawfeeq. As these speakers remind us:

Diversity is a fact. Equity is a choice.

Inclusion is an action.

Belonging is an outcome.

Click here to learn more about Diversity in Aquatics.

Drowning deaths typically spike over the July 4th holiday

As we approach the Independence Day holiday weekend, be aware: More drowning deaths occur, historically, on July 3rd & 4th than on any other days of the year.

The graph below shows the total number of unintentional drowning deaths in California from the years 2005 – 2019. Each column represents a day of the month, and each line on the graph represents one month of the year. Notice the large spike on the left side of the July line in the graph: In the years 2005 – 2019, 56 people died from drowning on July 3rd and 63 people died from drowning on July 4th.

In addition to all, you are doing to promote water safety and prevent drownings, be sure to share this fact with people you know. Awareness is key.

Questions on the Data? Contact us at

Safer California 2022 Conference

Update from our partner: Registration is now open

The 2022 Safer California Unintentional Injury Prevention Conference will be held in-person on November 15th and 16th at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego.

The Conference provides those working on injury prevention with an opportunity to come together, show resolve to keep injury prevention going in our state, reconnect with partners, develop new relationships, and increase our knowledge of injury prevention strategies.

Click here to register.

The Safer California Conference is sponsored by a wide range of organizations, including CA Office of Traffic Safety, CA Dept of Public Health, Stop Drowning Now, Impact Teen Drivers, Safe Moves Los Angeles, Personal Insurance Federation of CA, Nora Rose Hines Foundation, U.S. Swim School Association, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Stanford Children’s Health/Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, and others.

Questions? Contact Steve Barrow, Safer California Planning Team leader, at or 530-902-5551.

In Focus: Safe Kids Greater Sacramento

Spotlight on a CWSC valued partner

Safe Kids Greater Sacramento has created open water safety and pool safety toolkits for their coalition members to use when conducting outreach to children and families.

They started by looking at their local drowning statistics to see where kids were most at risk. Younger children were drowning most often in backyard pools, while older children and young adults were at risk in local rivers. Their “ABC’s of Drowning Prevention” toolkit covers pool safety, and targets parents of toddlers and preschoolers. They used the 10 Lessons for Open Water Safety featured in the California Department of Boating and Waterways AquaSmart activity book to create a suite of outreach tools regarding river safety.

Coalition Coordinator Jennifer Rubin invites you to use these materials as a jumping off point, and tailor them to your local water risks. She also invites feedback as these materials are updated annually.

View the toolkits and other resources here.

Thanks to our friend and partner, Jennifer Rubin, Injury Prevention Program Lead for Safe Kids Greater Sacramento, for sharing this update on her important work. To share an update on your own work in water safety, contact us at

Next webinar is with CDPH on June 30

We’re pleased to join the California Department of Public Health for a webinar on California-based drowning prevention efforts on June 30, 2022, 1:00-2:30pm.

Click here to register.

Topics and speakers include:

Drowning data (fatal and non-fatal) in California

Will Koon, California Water Safety Coalition

Younger children/Pool hazards and safety

Dr. Phyllis Agran, AAP, Orange County

Open bodies of water safety with CA Safe Kids current grant (collaboration with CA Boating and Waterways)

Jennifer Rubin, Greater Sacramento Safe Kids

Discussion of novel approaches and policy development to drowning prevention

Dr. Phyllis Agran and MaryJo Quintero, Valley Children’s Hospital

Take the AOAP Aquatics Salary Survey

Please take a few moments to complete this survey and help AOAP get a well-rounded look at pay rates in the aquatic industry. Please complete by June 29th. Results will be shared with all participating organizations and through AOAP’s Member Portal.

Take the Survey Now

WHO releases new guidance

The World Health Organization last month released a new publication with practical guidance for the provision of day-care, basic swimming and water safety skills, and safe rescue and resuscitation training.

Share a water safety resource

A central gap identified by California’s water safety community at the 2021 Workshop and the 2022 Summit was the lack of a central repository of water safety and drowning prevention information and resources. Over the next several months, we will be building Version 1.0 of the California Water Safety Hub.

We need your help to make it happen.

Click below to share a drowning prevention or water safety resource.

Join us on LinkedIn

What better way to keep water safety advocates “linked” together than LinkedIn? This is an ideal platform for members to share a variety of professional resources.

Please click below to join our LinkedIn group.

Our mailing address is:

California Water Safety Coalition

Ben Carlson Foundation

PO Box 12063

Newport Beach, CA 92658

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