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Resolution on Water Safety and Instruction

Whereas, in the United States, while bordered by 2 major oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, there are over 250,000 rivers, 123,000 lakes, 75,000 dams, and 18,000 canals (comprising 181,274 square miles of water and 24,766 miles of coastline) plus 8,592,000 swimming pools (309,000 commercial pools) and 5,823,000 hot tubs; and

Whereas, as of 2009, drowning is the third highest cause of death of youth 19 and under, only after motor vehicle deaths and suffocation – and is the number one cause of death for children aged four and under, more than motor vehicle deaths; and

Whereas, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children aged 1–4 years and is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children 5–9 years where the vast majority (over 50%) of these drowning incidents occur in residential settings; and

Whereas, thirty-six percent of children aged 7-17 years, and 15% of adults in the United States, swim at least six times per year and water safety in general, and swimming instruction specifically, provides a lifetime of benefits for individual health and safety; now, therefore, be it:

Resolved, that National PTA and its constituent associations promote education of parents, students, school personnel and communities regarding the risks associated with water and water activities and the benefits of water safety and swimming instruction; and be it further

Resolved, that National PTA and its constituent associations encourage the development of consistent, quality standards for water safety and swimming instruction and support policies and legislation to make such programs accessible to all students; and be it further

Resolved, that National PTA and its constituent associations encourage and support public school districts to include curriculum in water safety and swimming skills to ensure all children receive such instruction and guidance; and, be it further

Resolved, that National PTA and its constituent associations seek opportunities to join with other relevant coalitions, partnerships, organizations and associations in advancing water safety and swimming instruction for children and youth.