May was an exciting month for New Jersey Swim Safety Alliance (NJSSA) in our effort to promote water safety to save lives.
Here in our New Jersey Swim Safety Alliance June 2023 Newsletter, we have some important news about:
- New Jersey Water Safety Month
- The progress of NJ water safety education Bill A-618
- NJSSA’s involvement in a charitable swimsuit drive
May Proclaimed as Water Safety Month in New Jersey
On April 21, 2023, Governor Murphy supported the National Water Safety Month campaign by proclaiming May as Water Safety Month in New Jersey.
The proclamation drew attention to the fact that swimming and aquatic activities are important for both physical and mental health, and that water activities improve the quality of life.
The proclamation also:
- Addressed the importance of water safety education for the prevention of drownings and recreational water-related injuries
- Recognized the crucial efforts in water safety education that are provided by pools, water parks and other groups and industries
- Underscored the importance of teaching all individuals about water safety
Water Safety Month is supported by many groups who promote water safety to reduce the number of water-related injuries and fatalities. Some of these groups are:
- American Red Cross
- National Recreation and Park Association
- Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
- World Waterpark Association
Traditionally, water safety month promotes water safety awareness through proclamations, public service announcements, business promotions, and special programs.
NJSSA and Water Safety
NJSSA members work tirelessly year-round to promote and advocate for safety in and around water and to promote the importance of learning how to swim.
We want everyone to know that swimming isn’t only a fun pastime, but an important life skill that everyone should learn.
The Importance of Water Safety Education
NJSSA strives to make sure all NJ residents have the information to stay safe, and keep loved ones safe, in and around the water.
Sadly, the CDC reports drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1-14.
Water safety education is critical for everyone in all New Jersey towns. If you think water safety education isn’t necessary in your community, take a minute to check out a map showing drowning locations in New Jersey.
This map shows all the towns where drownings occurred from August ‘21 to August ’22 and gives the age and gender of each precious life lost.
Drownings occur not only in the ocean, but in lakes, rivers, streams, and pools as well. Unfortunately, no community is immune to this tragedy.
On NJSSA’s homepage there’s also an important video with additional drowning statistics, tips for safety in and around water, and two brave families’ stories told in the hope that losing their child to drowning won’t become your family’s story as well.
Bill A-618 Is in the Spotlight
On Friday, May 26, 2023, NJ Assemblyman Sean Kean held a press conference to urge state legislators to support Bill A-618—a potentially life-saving bill that would mandate that schools provide water safety education for all students in grades K-12.
Our Founding Board Member, Joe Oehme, joined Assemblyman Kean at the conference along with other notable water safety advocates.
While drownings are not always preventable, NJSSA stresses that education can be highly effective in preventing many drownings. Passage of this bill would save lives.
Bill A-618 was originally proposed in response to several NJ drownings. Currently, it has additional bipartisan support of 18 other legislators, but needs to be brought up in the Assembly Education Committee.
Assemblyman Kean has created a petition to State Representative Pamela Lampitt, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, to act on this water safety education bill.
At the conference, Kean mentioned September is often the most dangerous month for shore drownings due to a shortage of lifeguards and the impact late-summer storms have on the ocean.
You can see Assemblyman Kean and Joe Oehme of NJSSA talk about the origin of and need for this critical bill in this informative short video.
You can help us move this bill along and bring water education to our schools.
Simply take a minute and link here. Once linked, it’s simple. All you need to do is:
- Select your town
- Fill out a short form
- Review and submit your letter of support to your own NJ state legislator
NJSSA Joins Dolfin Swimwear in NJRPA Swimsuit & Goggle Drive
Not everyone has access to a bathing suit and swim goggles. And this alone prevents some children and adults from being able to swim.
NJSSA is proud to have teamed up with Dolfin Swimwear to join the NJRPA Aquatic Section for their 2023 Bathing Suit and Goggle Drive.
Since 2019, this event has collected and provided over 600 new bathing suits for children and adults in need. And this year we’re planning for our biggest year ever!
The swimsuit drive is being held from Memorial Day through July 15. New Jersey-based swim schools, swim venues, water parks and aquatic facilities are all joining in to help with this year’s swimsuit collection effort.
You Can Support NJSSA’s Mission
Our mission is all about improving the grim statistics on accidental drowning for both children and adults and promoting swimming as an important life skill.
The New Jersey Swim Safety Alliance is a group of swim professionals united to promote water safety in New Jersey.