Introduction Public schools create an excellent outlet for drowning prevention and water safety information to reach youth. Water is not always needed. What topics should be covered? How do we teach these topics so students will retain information. This will not reach all possible victims but it will reach a large number of children to prevent them becoming victims.
Drowning- A True Public HealthIssue The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists drowning as an unintentional injury related death. Unintentional injury related death is the leading cause of fatalities for victims 19 years old and younger. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury related death for children 1-4.
Drowning Facts ContinuedIn the year 2007, there were 3,443 fatal unintentionaldrowning deaths in the United States, averaging 10 per day.Additionally 496 people died from drowning in boating relatedincidents. (CDC)More than one in five people who die from drowning arechildren 14 and younger. For every child who dies fromdrowning, another four received emergency department carefor nonfatal submersion injuries. (CDC)
Drowning Facts ContinuedWho is most at risk? Males: Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male. (CDC) Children: Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2007, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, almost 30% died from drowning. Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years. (CDC)
Drowning Facts ContinuedMinoritiesBetween 2000 and 2007, the fatal unintentional drowning ratefor African Americans across all ages was 1.3 times that ofwhites.For American Indians and Alaskan Natives, this rate was 1.7times that of whites. (CDC)Rates of fatal drowning are notably higher among thesepopulations in certain age groups. The fatal drowning rate ofAfrican American children ages 5 to 14 is 3.1 times that ofwhite children in the same age range.For American Indian and Alaskan Native children, the fataldrowning rate is 2.3 times higher than for white children. (CDC)
Drowning Facts ContinuedMinorities Factors such as the physical environment (e.g., access to swimming pools) and a combination of social and cultural issues (e.g., wanting to learn how to swim, and choosing recreational water-related activities) may contribute to the racial differences in drowning rates. Current rates are based on population, and not on participation. If rates could be determined by actual participation in water-related activities, disparity in minorities drowning rates compared to whites would be much greater. (CDC)
So why schools?Public Schools create the ability to reach large numbers ofstudents.Ability to reach students who otherwise may not receivewater safety training.Intensive Teacher Training not required.May fit into State requirements for education.
Is this in the Education Standards? Depends on the state you are in. Some states require this information be taught and have examples of what is expected to be taught. Some states require this information be taught but are vague on what is expected. Some states do not have any water safety expectations.
State Examples Required- Florida Alabama Arkansas California North Carolina Not Required- Pennsylvania Mississippi Louisiana New York
Water Safety Without WaterTeaching water safety with water is ideal.This is not an option for all students and schools.With increased cost, swimming is sometimes cut fromeducation.All students don’t have access to swimming lessons.So the question remains how to we get this out to ourstudents.
Water Safety Without WaterThis information can be shared in the classroom or the gym.Not a lot of training is required by educators to teach thisinformation.Educators should be creative and reach out to resourcessuch as NDPA for information and tools.Students can learn about safety around the water without thewater.Be creative and think outside the box.
Water Safety Without Water Educators should also look for existing programs to use such as the Safer 3. Depending on the age range or grade level of the students vary the lesson to meet their level of understanding and interest.
My personal experience Used these tools while completing my Student Teaching Experience. School Facts: East Garner Year Round Elementary. Part of the Wake County Public School System (Raleigh, NC) High Diversity School. 65.9% Free and Reduced Lunch. 852 Students enrolled during 2011-12 school year. 22% Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
My personal experience Limited exposure to swimming lessons. Some students had never gone swimming. Introduces students to a wide array of water safety information. Used mainly the Safer 3 Model and tools. Made modifications and introduced these topics to Pre K-5. We will be doing some of these activities towards the end of the workshop.
Activity One: What should betaught to our students? Pull out activity page 1 from the packet you received. In your group come up with 5-10 items that you think should be taught to students about water safety. While you write this information down, think about ways we can introduce these topics to students. You will have 5 minutes to discuss this in your groups. After 5 minutes each group will discuss what they have come up with and we will make a master list. READY…… GO!
Important ConceptsReach, Throw….Don’t GoSwim with a buddy.Swim only where a lifeguard is present.Have a first aid kit ready.Know how you use rescue equipment.Learn to swim.Have a water watcher.Use layers of protection.Use only USCG approved PFD’s.
How to decide what to teachEach educator should check with their state standards andschool district curriculum to see what is required.Decide what information is most pertinent.Think about what grades you will be teaching these topics to.
How to decide what to teachThink about the area you are located in.What is the main risks for students who you will come intocontact with.Include as much information as you can, yet focus on mainrisks.
Making This An Interactive Lesson Don’t just lecture. Make this lesson as interactive as possible. If possible use real equipment such as ring buoys or PFD’s. Be creative. Tag games may even be appropriate.
Activity Two: Interactive RuleBoard Pull out the hand out from you packet that is titled “Interactive Rule Board.” In your groups create a list of rules that you think should be followed around the water. Make these rules positive, not negative. Avoid words such as “don’t,” “no,” or “not allowed.” You will have 5 minutes to work in your groups. After 5 minutes we will make a master list.
Example of RulesAlways swim with a buddy.Always swim where there is a lifeguard.Always walk around the water.Learn Water Safety and First Aid.Follow the lifeguards directions.Have a water watcher.Only swim in safe water.Learn to Swim.Swim where you know it is safe for you.Follow all specific rules for where you are swimming.Read all signs around the water.
Games to playBe creative.A game can help reinforce what is being taught.Many resources out there.Find games that fit the location.Tag games work great!
Games to play Swim with a buddy- Cross the River while staying together. Water Rescue Tag
Conclusion Water Safety is not a difficult subject to teach. Little training from teachers is required. Suitable for all grades Pre K-12. This will help spread the message. Reaches students who don’t get swim lessons. THIS CAN SAVE LIVES!!!!!
Contact Information Mr. Adam Katchmarchi Graduate Assistant Sport Management ProgramHealth and Physical Education Department Indiana University of Pennsylvania Adam.Katchmarchi@gmail.com Mr. Robert Ogoreuc Assistant Professor Aquatics Director Physical Education Department Slippery Rock University Robert.Ogoreuc@sru.edu