International open water drowning prevention guidelines

Drowning in open water, such as lakes, rivers and the ocean, is a major concern around the world. The International Open Water Drowning Prevention Guidelines have been produced by the World Open Water Drowning Prevention Task Force, consisting of 18 members from 12 countries and have been accepted by the International Lifesaving Community. This set of guidelines has been developed for families and individuals recreating at any open-water site. The project has been financially supported by the Seattle Children's Hospital Research Foundation.

In the attached booklet, produced by The Irish Lifesaving Foundation, you find more background related to these guidelines.

How these guidelines came about you can read in the attached article "Keeping the Safety Messages Simple: The International Task Force on Open-Water Recreational Drowning Prevention", which has been presented by Dr Linda Quan, Elizabeth Bennett and Dr Kevin Moran at the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in 2011. A clear overview you can find in the attached presentation.

Keep Yourself Safe
  1. Learn swimming and water safety survival skills. 
  2. Always swim with others. 
  3. Obey all safety signs and warning flags. 
  4. Never go in the water after drinking alcohol. 
  5. Know how and when to use a life jacket. 
  6. Swim in areas with lifeguards. 
  7. Know the water and weather conditions before getting in the water. 
  8. Always enter shallow and unknown water feet first. 

Keep Others Safe 
  1. Help and encourage others, especially children, to learn swimming and water safety  survival skills. 
  2. Swim in areas with lifeguards. 
  3. Set water safety rules. 
  4. Always provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water. 
  5. Know how and when to use life jackets, especially with children and weak swimmers. 
  6. Learn first aid and CPR. 
  7. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger. 
  8. Obey all safety signs and warning flags.