International Water Safety Day: Prepare for Summer!


By: Brittany Reasoner, Red Cross Communications Intern

International Water Safety Day is today, May 15, and the American Red Cross will participate in a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., to bring attention to the importance of water safety.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 388,000 drowning deaths occur annually around the world, making drowning a global public health problem. In the U.S., drowning is the second leading cause of fatal unintentional injury death for children ages one to 14.


The American Red Cross encourages all household members to enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs. To find classes for your family, contact your local aquatic facility and ask for Red Cross swimming programs. Developing skills and water safety behaviors help people be more comfortable and safe when they are in, on and around the water.

The American Red Cross offers classes in water safety education, swimming lessons, and life guarding.

For more information on where to take classes:

Water Safety Tips

– Make water safety a priority.

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy, and do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave young children unattended near the water.

– Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water.

  • If you own a pool or hot tub, install and use barriers.
  • For above ground or inflatable pools, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.

– Maintain constant supervision.

  • Actively supervise children around the water – even if lifeguards are present.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children.

– Know what to do in an emergency.

  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.

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