Swimways officials share water safety resources before Memorial Day fun
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (May 15, 2012) – The Memorial Day holiday weekend has long been recognized as the traditional kick-off to the summer vacation season, meaning for many Americans the first return of the year to boating, swimming and other fun-in-the-water activities.
For some children, it will be their first experience on a boat or in a pool, so officials at Swimways Corp. have gathered some great resources for water safety and learning-to-swim tips to help parents with the introduction process for their kids. The company has also recently introduced a new fun-themed Coast Guard Approved life jacket for youth use. The information is provided in honor of National Safe Boating Week 2012, May 19 – 25, and for all Memorial Day celebrations taking place near water.
“Kids and water go hand in hand,” said Darrin Bryan, brand manager for Swimways, a company with more than 40 years of swim-products expertise. “There are many rules, some written and others just good common sense, regarding life jacket wear, care and availability for everyone on a boat. The same is true for pool play. But proper water safety begins and ends with parent or other adult responsibility, and all ages must have total respect for being in and around an aquatic environment.”
Bryan and his Swimways colleagues have found the following information to be especially helpful in teaching their own families about water safety, and encourage others to review these and additional resources before heading outdoors this summer.
Wear it! – National Safe Boating Council life jacket campaign (Search the Coast Guard approved equipment database for life vests and other water safety gear).
Wearing your Life Jacket – U.S. Coast Guard
Swimming Safely in Lakes, Rivers and Streams – American Red Cross
Home Pool Safety – American Red Cross
Would You Know What To Do? – American Red Cross
Pool Safely – U.S. Government (check out the section for parents and families, and visit the site’s Pool Safely YouTube page for some excellent public safety announcements).
Children Aren’t Waterproof – The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals
Children’s Water Safety Coloring Book – The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals
Safer 3 Water Safety Program – Swim for Life Foundation
Layers of Protection – National Drowning Prevention Alliance
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning – Mario Vittone, Water Safety Expert
Start Safe: Water Safety – Safe Kids USA
Swim Steps – Swimways Corp. teachmetoswim.com
To meet United States Coast Guard (USCG) requirements, a boat must have at the very least a USCG approved Type I, II, III or IV life jacket for each person aboard. All states have regulations requiring life jacket wear by children. Therefore, boating regulations should be researched before visiting any state and body of water for complete familiarity with the governing laws.
A grant administered by the USCG funds the annual Life Jacket Wear Rate Observation Study. The 2011 report shows life jacket wear among youth ages 17 and under, while on boats other than personal water crafts, had increased over the 11-year history of the study to its highest level yet, 70.7 percent. The same study also cited the USCG’s 2010 Boating Statistics report showing among the 484 drowning deaths in 2010, 88 percent (427) of the individuals were reported as not wearing a life jacket.
“Fact is, life jackets don’t work if they’re not being worn,” said Bryan. “Whatever the reasons for not wearing a life jacket, none are good ones, especially in the case of kids. That’s why we try to incorporate fun colors and themes into our youth life jackets and swim-assist products.”
SwimWays recently introduced a new life jacket series called Sea Squirts that are USCG approved Type III life jackets, combining function and fun with the hope that youngsters will be more inclined to wear them. A tell tale distinguishing characteristic of Sea Squirts from other life jackets is that the jackets in the series have a fin on the back.
The fish-like appearance of Sea Squirts adds to the water fun for youngsters, yet the fin doesn’t hamper wearer movement or comfort in and out of the water. In fact, the soft and pliable appendage folds harmlessly out of the way if the child sits in a chair or boat seat, or lies on the back.
The Sea Squirts patent-pending designs feature durable neoprene coverings on the outside and soft-tech liners on the inside. The fit is sleek and comfortable, and sizes are small, medium and large to fit most children ages 2 – 7. All sizes have leg straps to keep the jackets fitting properly when the child is in the water.
Sea Squirts come in seven styles, with appropriate fish markings and colors distinguishing each: Angel Fish, Blue Dolphin, Clown Fish, Great White Shark, Orca Whale, Pink Dolphin and Purple Fish. Each model retails for around $69.95.
Sea Squirts come in seven styles. From left to right: Orca Whale, Blue Dolphin, Pink Dolphin, Clown Fish and Great White Shark. Angel Fish and Purple Fish not pictured.
Click photo to view/download hi-res image.
To learn more about Sea Squirts, other SwimWays swimming and youth swimming training products, and the company’s full line of pool floats, games, toys and décor, visit www.SwimWays.com.
Based in Virginia Beach, Va., Swimways is a privately owned leisure and recreational water products manufacturer whose mission is making free time more fun through innovation. It is a company rich in traditional values and respected for the quality and integrity of its products and services. Swimways has distribution in more than 40,000 storefronts globally and has evolved into a worldwide leader in recreational water products. For more information about Swimways, visit www.swimways.com.