May is ‘Water Safety Month’

Does your community know that?
National Water Safety Month is right around the corner and the time to start raising awareness is now.
Here in California, water safety advocates have done an incredible job of raising awareness in Sacramento and in their local communities. Each year since 1984, California’s Governor has declared May ‘Drowning Prevention Month’ in California. Cities and counties throughout the state have also designated Water Safety Month in their local jurisdictions for decades. Now we’re asking for your help in raising awareness of Water Safety Month in your community. Please scroll through this email for several easy ways to proclaim Water Safety Month in your community.
How it all started national Water Safety Month has taken many forms over the years, starting out several decades ago as National Water Safety Week, sponsored by the World Waterpark Association nearly twenty years ago. As other coalitions joined the cause, including the National Recreation and Park Association and the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, the “week” became a “month.” May was chosen given the spring-time spike in swimming activity across the country. When the Red Cross joined the effort, awareness of the designation continued to rise. Again, California was ahead of the curve. Nadina Riggsbee started California’s annual recognition of Drowning Prevention Month in the 1980s after her daughter Samira fatally drowned and her son JJ was resuscitated but suffered major brain damage. Nadina has worked on this issue with every California Governor since and coordinates with the Department of Developmental Services each year to update the information and data in the annual proclamation. National Water Safety Month is an ideal time to educate local communities on overall water safety and effective drowning prevention strategies.
How you can help spread the word
Check to see if your city or county accepts suggestions for proclamations. There is often a section on the city or county website where you can submit a proposed proclamation. Search Google with your city or county’s name and the word, “proclamation”. You can also call your local public information office and inquire about this process. Here are example forms from Modesto and Long Beach. Download this sample proclamation, customize it for your city or county, and suggest it for adoption. When your city or county proclaims May as Water Safety Month (or Drowning Prevention Month), please let us know. Consider planning an event to raise awareness of the proclamation itself. This can be a press conference at a local pool, beach, or river; social media posts; or letters to the editor of your local paper.
Tune in to our April 27th webinar on Wednesday, April 27th we’ll host a short lunchtime (12 o’clock Pacific) webinar on Water Safety Month: proclamations, getting in touch with the media, and some ideas for events. It is all about getting the word out in your communities. Registration is FREE but required. Click here to register.

Our mailing address is:
California Water Safety Coalition
Ben Carlson Foundation
PO Box 12063
Newport Beach, CA 92658

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