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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Rescue Ready at Retirement Age

September 19, 2011

Last Thursday the New York Times published A Test Keeps Lifeguards Fit For Duty, a well-written tale of the steps some of New York City's more "mature" lifeguards take to stay in tip top shape. The timing of the article couldn't have been better, as we were busy putting the finishing touches on the seventh installment of the Ten Commandments of Effective Lifeguarding.

This brand new Lifeguard Commandment video addresses the importance of lifeguards always

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Are You Swimming in a Toilet?

August 31, 2011

E. Coli outbreaks across the country have been compromising the health and well being of swimmers this summer. This dangerous bacteria has been linked to dozens of hospitalizations. Thirteen people were hospitalized after visiting a state park in Pennsylvania. According to an article on, "eight of the swimmers had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening

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When Not to Quit: Man Revived After 96 Minutes

August 22, 2011

Performing CPR in a life-or-death situation is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. I hope this incredible story about a man who was successfully revived - with no resulting brain damage - after 96 minutes provides the extra burst of strength and motivation you may need the next time someone's life is in your hands. While the article primarily focuses on

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Note & Float™: Attract Clients and Increase Revenue

July 27, 2011

Guest post by Rebecca Robinson: I learned about the excellent Note & Float™ program when I attended the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Vietnam earlier this year. I am always on the lookout for innovative ways of getting children in the water having fun, safely, and this program has some potential benefits beyond the obvious.

Briefly, how the program works is that when a child arrives at your facility, you have a lifeguard

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Do you Pool Safely?

May 12, 2011 was designed by West Bend as a place to discuss some of the most pressing risk management concerns facing nonprofit, youth focused, and community based organizations. Because these organizations serve such a diverse group of people with such a wide range of programs, we discuss a lot of different topics on this site. One topic certainly seems to get more attention than the others though.

Between our Ten Commandments of Effective Lifeguarding video series, our Aquatics Best Practices Guide, and a variety of Aquatic Safety Tips, we think it's clear that aquatic safety is an important pillar in our risk management plan. And for good reason. A pool, spa, or lake is almost always the greatest source of exposure for an organization. And even if there isn't a pool or lake on premises at your organization, your members and guests will undoubtedly benefit from water safety knowledge.

In an effort to continue offering the most thorough and relevant water safety information to our visitors, West Bend is very excited to announce a partnership with the

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Autistic Children Crave Being in Water

April 29, 2011

Water is a magnet for all children. It's fun. It's soothing. Water is the ultimate, non-threatening hug. As an adult, what is your reaction when you sink into a hot bath? Or sip a cool glass of water on a hot day.

Aaaaaahhhhhhh. Exactly! Now magnify that attraction and that reaction by 100, and you’ll know exactly what

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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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