Pediatricians Sign-on to Swim Lessons

Prescription for water safety is the latest movement in drowning prevention. The Water Smart Babies Program was adopted by the Florida Pediatric Society, the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and launched February 2010. The Florida doctors baby well visits now include water safety education. On the child’s ninth and twelve month visits, the pediatrician writes out a "Doctor's prescription" for water safety lessons! The parents are also given the Water Smart Babies handbook which includes tips on home water safety, water safety lesson facilities (by county), CPR classes (by county) and safety device information, such as pool fencing, door and pool alarms. As the child visits the pediatrician in subsequent months the doctor follows up to make sure the family is getting their home equipped with the layers of protection and the child is participating in water safety lessons.

We are proud to announce that the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona (DPCA) has adopted the Water Smart Babies Program and is scheduled to pilot their program in April 2011, with a program roll out scheduled for August 2011. We would like all Arizona swim schools and aquatic facilities to adopt the prescription program. The following criteria are required for participation in the program.

  1. Instructors must hold a nationally recognized swim instructor certification (Red Cross, YMCA, USSSA etc.)
  2. Facility pools must be certified and regulated by the county Environmental Services Dept.
  3. The business must do background checks on employees that work with children
  4. Certifications for lifeguard, CPR, and first aid required for all swim instructors

If accepted as a program participant, you will also be required to send us monthly reports on how many prescription swim students have enrolled in your program. Upon expiration, copies of renewal certifications for lifeguard, CPR, first aid and environmental services are also require to be resubmitted.

In Arizona, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4. If we all work together, we can help curtail needless child drownings in our neighborhoods. We hope you will join in this life saving endeavor.