Can you beat this drowning simulator?

August 13, 2015

Many people think that if someone is drowning, it will be extremely obvious. Lots of splashing, screaming for help, and arm waving. But this almost never happens. The Instinctive Drowning Response, a phrase coined by Francesco A. Pia, PhD, prevents someone from waving or calling for help. Their bodies focus on breathing, not speaking, and their hands and arms are often instinctively pushing down on the water, not waving for help. This makes it much harder for lifeguards to spot victims.

A fantastic new website lets you see this for yourself. Computer programmer Francisco Saldaña created

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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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Scathing Review of USA Swimming's Abuse Scandal

November 21, 2014

A new article in Outside Magazine explores the prevalence of sexual abuse in swim clubs across the country. Author Rachel Sturtz interviewed abuse victims, their families, the lawyers involved in the cases, and abuse experts. The story that emerges is shocking and painful. This piece, while extensive, and at times disturbing to read, is

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The World's Largest Swim Lesson

June 19, 2013

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death of children ages 1-5. Additionally, research shows that children who do not learn to swim by the 3rd grade most likely never will. These two issues are the inspiration for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, an initiative sponsored by the World Waterpark Association and supported by the PoolSafely campaign.

Yesterday’s attempt at a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest swim lesson saw an estimated

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The Story Behind Dr. Heimlich and His Famous Maneuver

May 09, 2013

Did you know that Dr. Henry Heimlich first tested his technique to dislodge stuck food on a dog? He tied a string around a piece of meat and forced it into the airway of an anesthetized dog. And did you know that Dr. Heimlich is still alive!? I hadn't the slightest idea. I also wasn't aware that there was so much controversy surrounding

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Does that Lifeguard Belong on the Pool Deck?

August 15, 2012

Imagine that your pool experiences the worst-case scenario... a drowning. In addition to grieving family members, distraught lifeguards, and a devastated community, you're also be flooded with attention by lawyers and media outlets. In all of this chaos, how much energy do you think you'll be able to dedicate to compiling the paperwork that may make or break the future of

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Breath-Holding Exercise Nearly Costs Swimmer His Life

July 31, 2012

A teenage swimmer from one of the most prestigious swim clubs in the United States had to be pulled from the pool by two of his coaches last week. Luckily for the swimmer, his coach was scanning the bottom of the pool. Listen to him describe the breath-holding exercise he was performing before he

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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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Are you Nomophobic? Probably.

February 22, 2012

"Phone, keys, wallet."

"Phone, keys, wallet."

"Phone, keys, wallet."

I repeat those three things while tapping at my pockets all day long. I don't go anywhere without the three. Even when I'm at home I know precisely where my phone is at all times. I didn't know it until today, but there is no doubt that I am the very definition of a

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Injured Diver Neglected by Texting Lifeguard

January 18, 2012

A post from David Nagel, a West Bend Loss Prevention representative: Last week while at my son’s diving sectional I witnessed a female diver sprain her ankle as she was coming down on the board during her very first dive. When she came up to the surface of the water she was struggling and could barely swim to the

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