Do One Thing, Improve One Thing or Add One Thing to your Lessons for World Drowning Prevention Day

To support World Drowning Prevention Day on the 25th July, STA has pledged to ‘add one thing’ in line with the World Health Organisation’s call to action this year; and has created a new resource pack full of themed ideas for activities and games for swimming teachers to use in their lessons.

Why hold a World Drowning Prevention Day?

It is an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities around the world and offer life-saving solutions for prevention. Globally, an estimated 235,600 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children aged 5-14 years.

The latest UK figures show the number of child drowning deaths in England has significantly increased from 20 in 2019-20, to 41 in 2022-23. Tragically, a total of 125 children have accidentally lost their lives to drowning in the last four years.

The UK data also shows there was a rise in water-related fatalities for all recorded causes in 2023. And, of accidental fatalities, 83% were male, and more than half happened in inland waters.

What is the theme for World Drowning Prevention Day 2024?

Each year there is a key theme to bring global focus and attention to an important aspect of drowning prevention, and they are centred on: Do One Thing, Improve One Thing or Add One Thing.

World Health Organisation (WHO)

In the UK, led by the National Water Safety Forum, some of the key safety messages water safety organisations will be championing are:

  • Make the right call – Call 999
  • Learn how to help and never attempt a rescue
  • Learn how to survive – Float to Live
  • Make a Pledge – Do One Thing (one conversation can save a life)

In support of these key safety messages and to ‘add one thing’, STA has created a new World Drowning Prevention Day Resource Pack, which features themed activities and fun games for swimming teachers to use, and ‘add / improve one thing’ into lessons throughout the summer (and beyond) to educate participants.

Swim schools can also download the National Water Safety Forum pledge cards, which would be great way for participants to ‘do one thing’ in support of drowning prevention.


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