Drowning Prevention Week Sample Activities

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1 Drowning Prevention Week Sample Activities The following activities have been developed to assist your aquatic staff/volunteers in delivering a successful Drowning Prevention Week. Use the activities as they are provided or revise them to meet your facility s needs. Also, feel free to add in your own creative activities. Remember no one is immune to drowning so try to offer something for various age groups (i.e. Parents of small children, school-age children, boaters, aquaftiness classes, etc.) Wet and dry activities, displays, demonstrations, puppet shows, etc. are all great delivery methods of drowning prevention education. We also encourage you to take lots of pictures and send them in to us so we can use them in Lifelines and in our Annual Report. Please keep track of the number of people that go through your displays, participate, etc. We keep annual statistics of drowning prevention week and we would like to see at least 20,000 people reached this year as in the past several years. There is also a Drowning Prevention Week Trophy up for grabs to the affiliate that puts through the most people. The City of Weyburn was the winner last summer. Good luck and have fun! Shelby Rushton Program Manager, Lifesaving Society 1

2 DRY LAND ACTIVITIES Parent & Tot Trivia Board: Purpose: To educate parents of preschoolers about the need for parental supervision around the water and to stay within arm s reach at all times. Supplies: Bristol Board, Markers, Tape, paper or recipe cards Method to make Trivia Board On pieces of square paper (recipe cards work well), write out questions (6 8) appropriate for parent education. (see samples below) Tape the questions on the Bristol board by the top of the paper only. Write the answer to the question directly underneath the paper on the Bristol board. Method of Play: Parents will read the question, answer in their head and then lift the paper to find the correct answer. Sample Questions: 1. How close should you be to your child when at the pool or lake? ( within arm s reach It only takes a second for a child to lose his/her balance and fall over or to move into deep water.) 2. If your child is wearing a pfd/lifejacket or waterwings, it is safe to be away from your child. True or False? (False floatation devices do not replace the need for parental supervision. Although floatation devices do assist the child somewhat, drowning can still occur due to lack of body strength, waves, etc.) 3. ETC. Boating Safety Equipment Mobiles: Purpose: To educate about equipment needed in a boat. Supplies: Coat hangers, string or wool, pre-cut pictures of boating equipment, crayons or markers Method: Give each participant a set of pre-cut pictures of boating equipment to color, hole punch each picture, string onto coat hanger. A discussion about boating equipment could take place during this activity. Graffiti: Purpose: Enhance public awareness of Drowning Prevention Week. Supplies: Wallpaper, pieces of chalk or markers. Method: Put a big paper on the wall and have children draw drowning prevention messages/pictures on the paper. 2

3 Sidewalk Chalk: Purpose: Enhance public awareness of Drowning Prevention Week. Supplies: Pieces of chalk. Method: Draw drowning prevention messages/picture on the sidewalk. (examples: Choose it! Use it! Always wear a lifejacket or pfd!; If you re not within arm s reach, you ve gone too far - Supervise young children near water; Always swim with a buddy!; etc.) Face Painting: Purpose: Enhance public awareness of Drowning Prevention Week. Supplies: Face paint, the Lifesaving Society logo tattoo is available 50 each at the Lifesaving Society. Method: Painting on the children s face (cf. Logo, ring buoy, ladder for ladder approach, boat, wave, raindrop, and puddle). Decorating a room with Drowning Prevention Week theme: Purpose: Enhance children s and parents knowledge and interest toward being Water Smart. Supplies: Craft kits. Method: Each participant builds a decoration related to Drowning Prevention Week. Coloring Contest: Supplies for a Water Smart coloring contest are included in your drowning prevention week package. Do a coloring contest that can be publicly displayed, and judged by a volunteer patron. Other ideas such as having patrons design their own WaterSmart picture, can be done as well. School Presentation Box: Purpose: To provide information on drowning prevention, basic knowledge of safe water rescue techniques, and key information about the Lifesaving Society. Supplies: School Presentation Box available upon request from the Lifesaving Society. Make an appointment in an advance. Method: Follow the outline of activities included. 3

4 WATER ACTIVITIES **Supervision for each of these activities is categorized as Focused, General, and Lifeguard supervision is required for some of these activities because they involve more risk than others do. Lifeguard Carry: (Focused Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: to enable contestants in understanding the difficulty of a water rescue for lifeguards. This must be explained as a "lifeguards only "technique in a rescue situation. Explain that the object that they carried with difficulty was only 10 lbs., where as an average person may weigh 150lbs. Supplies: 10-lbs. object, such as a 2-Litre bottle full of sand. Method: Have contestant carry the pop bottle on hip across the width of your pool or a measured distance of 12 meters in a waterfront setting. Divide your contestants into age categories, best times win for each category, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Ring Buoy Throw: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To enable the candidates to understand the Ladder Approach s Talk, Throw, and Reach components. This understanding will give them basic water rescue techniques. Supplies: 1 Ring Buoy and a 4-meter hoop that floats. Method: Have contestants throw the ring buoy nine times into the hoop. The hoop should be placed approximately 3 metres away from the edge / shore. Bronze 7 successful throws Silver - 8 successful throws Gold - 9 successful throws Swim Race: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To increase candidate s abilities in endurance swimming so that in a real situation they can get from Point A to Point B when necessary. Supplies: none Method: Have candidates divided up by age or swimming ability and have a race of head up front crawl. This is for development of a lifesaving stroke. Recognize your candidates with Bronze, Silver, and Gold. 4

5 Surface Support: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To strengthen your patron in surface support. This will give patrons a clear understanding of the difficulty of treading water for an extended length of time. Supplies: 5 or 10 Lbs. Object, again a pop bottle of sand works well. Method: Have contestants tread water with the weight against time. Bronze: 2 min Silver: 3 min Gold: 5 min Dry Towel Carry: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To build endurance in swimming for your patrons. Supplies: numerous dry towels. Method: Have contestants swim across the width of your pool with the towel. The key to this contest is that the contestant must get across the pool in the least amount of time. They are disqualified if the towel becomes saturated with water. Safe or Sorry: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To reinforce safety around water Supplies: List of Safe or Sorry statements (see below) Method: Participants stand at edge of water or pool wall. For every safe statement participants yell out SAFE and take a giant step forward in the water. For every sorry statement participants stay still and yell out SORRY. SAFE or SORRY Statements: - You should always swim with a buddy. (safe) - As long as the water is shallow my parents don t have to be with me in the water. (sorry) - I only dive into water that I know is deep. (safe) - It it s thundering and lightning I will go swimming. (sorry) - I wear a lifejacket or pfd in the boat. (safe) - I swim in pools that have lifeguards. (safe) - ETC. 5

6 Lifejacket/PFD Limbo: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To show the effective use of a lifejacket or pfd. Supplies: PFD s or lifejackets for each participant, Limbo stick, music (optional) Method: Limbo stick is held up over the water. Participants swim/limbo under the stick in single file. After each pass under the stick, the limbo stick is lowered a little bit more. Wave Machine: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To experience swimming through waves and to educate about the danger of wavy/windy conditions on the lake. Supplies: Flutterboards Method: Participants line up shoulder to shoulder, approximately 1 metre from a wall in shallow end of pool (or if at waterfront, make to lines of people 1 metre apart). Each participant uses their flutterboard to make waves. One participant swims on the surface through the waves to the end of the line. That participant then becomes part of the wave makers and another participant swims through the waves. Whirlpool: (Lifeguard Supervision Required) Purpose: To experience swimming in a current and to educate about the danger of rivers and streams. Supplies: none Method: Participants hold hands and form a circle. Participants all move in the same direction in a circle until a whirlpool/current has been formed. Participants then let go of hands and swim against current. **Repeat, but then swim with current, feet first to avoid hitting head on rocks. ***Swim to Survive Challenge: Purpose: The majority of people who drown had no intention of going into the water. For swimmers and non-swimmers alike, immersion is sudden, unexpected and often silent. For this reason, the Lifesaving Society believes that in Canada's water rich environment, minimum swimming ability is a required life skill for survival. Through Swim to Survive, the Society gives everyone the opportunity to learn how to protect themselves. Like fire safety and bike safety, everyone deserves to learn the life skills that Swim to Survive provides vital skills necessary to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. The Swim to Survive Standard Meeting the Canadian Swim to Survive Standard is an important first step to being safe around water. So much so, the Lifesaving Society believes... Acquisition of basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. 6

7 All Canadian children deserve the chance to learn basic swim survival skills. The acquisition of basic swim survival skills by Canadian children is worthy of public and government support. Affordable training should be available for children to the level of the Canadian Swim to Survive Standard. The Canadian Swim to Survive Standard has received international attention and significant interest from injury prevention experts in Europe, Australia and in the USA. Essential Life Skills Orient oneself at the surface after an unexpected entry Support oneself at the surface Swim to safety Task Roll into water Tread water for 1 minute Swim for 50 metres Supplies: participation cards (optional, electronic file available), blue glow- in- the-dark wrist bands (optional, available from the office for $1.75 each) Method: Have participants take the Swim to Survive Challenge. **This can be done as a challenge or there could be some skill training taught first. (use your imagination!) **This could also be a good media event for the pool have some local celebrities (example: the Mayor, etc.) take the challenge. Invite the local paper to cover the event, etc. Drowning Prevention Week Theme Day Ideas Boat safe day Pfd day Jr lifeguard day Rescue day Sun safe day Pool safe day -info on safety equipment -boat safe rules -info on boat exams and deadlines for adults -build a boat contest (from pool toys) and race them -why do we need them -when do we need them -how do we pick them -design your own pfd -go over some of the skills needed to be a good guard -scanning game (have kids in the pool hold up shapes or colors and have the Jr guard point them out -have reverse swim (the kids can guard the guards) -show some rescues to patrons and have them try -go over safety ladder rational -make a rescue ladder out of popsicle sticks -sun smart rules -make a sun safe hat contest -how much and how to use sunscreen properly -pool rules -design your dream pool contest -danger areas in pool 7

8 Game show day Pirate Day -wheel of safety -wheel of skills -safety jeopardy -go an a treasure hunt for treasure under the water (paint some rocks gold to be the sunken treasure) -make a pirate ship that follows the boat safety guidelines -make a safety scavenger hunt with a list of pool safety equipment (place a number or picture of the item on the item and sent the kids around to find/identify safety equipment around the pool) -have the kids make a pirate hat to wear during the treasure/scavenger hunt 8

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