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Drowning Prevention Week: How Iowa Is Using Media, Educational Activities, and Drowning

Drowning Prevention Week: How Iowa Is Using Media, Educational Activities, and Drowning
Thursday, October 17, 2019
3:00 pm–3:50 pm
Increasing Fun and Reducing Risk Track

The Drowning Prevention Program in Iowa seeks to reduce drowning related fatalities through education and activities. During Drowning Prevention Week, the Iowa Department of Public Health participates in several activities, including the national World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. The 2016 lesson was hosted at Altoona Aquatics Park and was ranked among the top 15 participating events with 267 participants. Media outlets during Drowning Prevention Week have included radio ads, social media ads, and movie theater ads. Two radio ads run for two weeks on several different radio stations throughout the state of Iowa. The target audiences for radio ads are children and older adult males. Educational material has been created and posted on Facebook and Twitter accounts during this week, as well. Through a data sharing agreement with Vital Records we obtain fatal drowning information to be used in prevention efforts. The first Drowning Prevention Week in Iowa was in 2013. Since then there have been no fatal drownings reported in a registered Iowa swimming pool. Efforts at the state level can have many positive outcomes on the number of individuals educated on drowning prevention and ultimately the number of drowning fatalities that occur each year. Drowning or near drowning incidents provide an opportunity to educate the public regarding drowning prevention and water safety.