Unfortunately, not all young people have access to water safety education and resources. The lack of consistent aquatic education costs lives. According to the CDC, approximately “one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.”
When young people have access to water safety education, they learn how to act safely in and around water, giving them confidence and opening up an array of opportunities for them – including jobs, hobbies and social interactions. By providing water safety education in schools, the barriers to accessing these resources such as socio-economic factors can be mitigated, helping to create a more inclusive recreational water community.
As members of the Water Safety Coalition, Surfrider Foundation New York City is advocating for NY State Senate Bill 2545A and Assembly Bill 4846 to promote water safety education in NY schools. These bills would make water safety education available and encouraged in New York State schools, require sending water safety materials home to parents, and include technical assistance to schools from the office of the New York State Commissioner of Education.
If you live in NY and believe that water safety education should be accessible for all, please join us by signing our action alert!