Drowning Tragedy at YMCA Pool

February 19, 2016

Last month, a talented swimmer on the Dartmouth College swim team was exercising in a Florida YMCA pool while on vacation with his family.  After a challenging 4000-yard swim set, he attempted four laps across the pool without taking a breath. Unfortunately, he was not successful.

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Safety at the Y in 2014

April 10, 2015

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company works with more than 200 Y associations throughout the Midwest. Each year, these Ys submit hundreds of insurance claims to West Bend. This year, we conducted a thorough analysis of each of these claims and held a live online seminar for our customers to discuss the results. To help make other Ys (and similar organizations) safe for

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Pool Safely's First Splash!

May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24th was a big day for aquatics professionals, parents and kids everywhere. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's Pool Safely campaign kicked off the third year of its pool and spa safety awareness initiative.

As a Pool Safely Campaign Safety Partner, West Bend joined organizations like the Y, Safe Kids USA, and the American Red Cross in this year's goal of providing water safety outreach and education to

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How to Prevent Real Drownings, Not the Baywatch Kind

October 20, 2011

A lifeguard's job is to sit around, twirl a whistle, and wait for a swimmer to splash and yell loudly as soon as they need to be rescued. Of course I don't think that, but I would imagine that is the way a large portion of society views guarding. And can you really blame them? If you look at the way Hollywood has dramatized drownings, it isn't difficult to reach the conclusion that lifeguarding is a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, spotting a distressed swimmer is no where near as easy as it looks on Baywatch. In order to prevent real life drownings

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Who Knows Best: Doctor or Lifeguard?

April 15, 2011

A drowning tragedy that took place in the Bahamas earlier this week is raising questions about the response of the waterpark's lifeguards. We encourage you to read more about the circumstances leading up to the drowning, but in short, an unresponsive five-year-old girl was pulled from the water by a waterpark guest. Another guest, who happened to be a registered nurse, immediately began providing rescue breathing. Shortly thereafter, an emergency room doctor

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Oprah, We Need Your Help!

February 08, 2011

One child drowns every minute. Yes, you read that correctly. One child drowns every minute. 600,000 children a year.

My 9-year-old son asked me the other day how many kids drown, and when I told him one every minute he asked, "Then why isn’t everyone talking about it?" Good point. If a 9-year-old gets it immediately, why doesn’t

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Guest Blog: Introducing Rebecca Robinson

January 19, 2011

The majority of water safety programs reach out to older children, yet children ages 1-4 are at the highest risk of drowning. Rebecca Robinson believes that we need to have a global 'face' of water safety that engages very young children, and teaches them water safety the same way we teach children to cross the street safely. Jabari of the Water is one possible solution. She's working to make Jabari the 'Smokey Bear' of water safety.

Rebecca will be guest blogging for West Bend on a regular basis. We thought the best way to kick off her guest blogging experience would be

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Risk Management: Are we missing the mark?

September 22, 2010

I just finished reading a very interesting article from the New York Times: Keeping Kids Safe From the Wrong Dangers. Here's an excerpt that I think summarizes the message nicely:

"[T]he five things most likely to cause injury to children up to age 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are: car accidents, homicide (usually at the hands of someone they know), child abuse, suicide or drowning. And what are the five things that parents are most worried about (according to surveys by the Mayo Clinic)? Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers and drugs." Lisa Belkin - NYTimes.com

It's a natural, human reaction to fear and prepare for the worst possible scenario, often at the expense of failing to prepare for the most likely scenario. As the author explains, parents choose to drive their kids to school in lieu of having them walk alone, because of the fear their child might be

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