National Water Safety Month Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Leading Aquatics Organizations, Governors, and Local Governments Celebrate 20-Year Public Education Initiative Supporting Safer Water Practices

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The National Water Safety Coalition, comprised of the American Red Cross, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), and the World Waterpark Association (WWA), along with Governors in 45+ states, are working together to promote May as the 20th annual National Water Safety Month.

Since 2003, members of the Coalition have worked to highlight the importance of public education regarding safer practices for kids and adults when they are in and around water of all kinds. The event, celebrated every May by thousands of aquatics facilities, businesses and professionals, provides educational programming, public service announcements, government proclamations, promotions and water safety-themed materials designed to help prevent water-related illnesses, injuries and fatalities.

“The American Red Cross encourages families to make water safety a priority to build confidence in water, for life,” said William D. Ramos, Ph.D., member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. “Preventing unsupervised access to water, providing constant, active adult supervision in and around the water, and knowing how to swim are critical layers of protection to help prevent drowning.”

The National Water Safety Month campaign plays a foundational role in leading the conversation about how to keep families safer around water. The initiative to strengthen water safety education has led to national media coverage, improved legislation and critical advocacy efforts throughout the U.S.

“NRPA is proud to support National Water Safety Month. Aquatic facilities — including indoor and outdoor pools — provide communities with invaluable health and wellness opportunities,” said Julie Boland, NRPA Vice President of Credentialing and Member Operations. “To provide successful programs, water safety is critical. According to an NRPA Park Pulse survey, more than 9 in 10 Americans believe it is important for children to learn to swim at an early age. Thankfully, parks and recreation is a leading provider of low-cost/free swimming lessons.”

The Coalition supports water safety activities throughout the month and during swim season, including:

International Water Safety Day on May 15, 2023, is designed to spread global awareness about drowning prevention and educate youth about becoming safer in and around water. May 15th is a day to share drowning awareness and water safety education by any means possible.

World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on June 22, 2023, is a global event that includes tens of thousands of participants working together to raise awareness about the importance of teaching kids to swim. Aquatic facilities are encouraged to register as Host Locations during the month of May.

Proclamations – The Coalition works to secure gubernatorial proclamations to draw attention to the issue. Annually, 45-50 state Governors proclaim May as National Water Safety Month to support this initiative. Proclamations are added throughout the month. Look for your state’s proclamation here.

Social Media
The Coalition shares safety tips and resources across its social media channels throughout the month. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter and join the #Nationalwatersafetymonth conversation. Shareable content is also available through NDPA’s Water Safety Season Tool Kit.

“The NDPA is thrilled to join the National Water Safety Coalition and support this life-saving work,” said Adam Katchmarchi, Ph.D., Executive Director, NDPA. “Our mission has always been to unite all stakeholders to collaborate behind a unified agenda focused on building awareness, advocacy and education about water safety practices that reduce drowning. National Water Safety Month is a terrific platform to support those goals.”

May marks the beginning of swim season as beaches, pools, and waterparks begin to open. The Coalition is determined to increase awareness about vital water safety practices to help keep children and their families safer around all kinds of water. Learning to swim and practicing safe behaviors are critical first steps.

“National Water Safety Month is a great tool for the pool, spa, and hot tub industry to continue the important conversation about best practices for water safety in every environment,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, President and CEO of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance. “PHTA is proud of the work the National Water Safety Coalition has accomplished and is committed to sharing these important messages to keep our children safe through swimming education.”

“We’ve accomplished a great deal since we launched this initiative in 2003. National Water Safety Month is now a major platform that’s helped reach millions with important messaging about how to be water aware and the necessary layers of protection involved in keeping families safer around the water,” said Rick Root, President of the World Waterpark Association. “But we still have a long way to go because far too many parents and caregivers still don’t understand the risks.”

Parents, educators and caregivers can find detailed information and free resources in support of National Water Safety Month at

About National Water Safety Coalition
National Water Safety Month is possible through the National Water Safety Coalition, led by American Red Cross, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, National Recreation and Park Association, Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and World Waterpark Association.

Don Lauritzen                                                                             

Amy Willer

Communications Officer                                                         

Associate Director, Marketing & Communications

American Red Cross                                                                 

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance

[email protected]                                                         

[email protected]

Adam Katchmarchi, PhD                                                         

Rick Root

Executive Director                                                                     


National Drowning Prevention Alliance                           

World Waterpark Association

[email protected]                                                           

[email protected]    

Cort Jones

Senior Manager of Digital Content

National Recreation and Park Association

[email protected]

SOURCE National Water Safety Coalition