The Josh project has been a campaign partner of Pool Safely since 2012. One of the most important Pool Safety resources to The Josh Project’s mission is the Water Watcher Card which allows parents to be more aware and involved in their children’s safety. The great thing about the Water Watcher Card is that once parents understand what they are for and how they are used, they become deputies in an unofficial safety position. They start to take the job seriously and even wear the Water Watcher Card during swimming sessions.
Parental education is the most essential step to protecting kids around water. Parents should not leave the hospital before learning about water safety. In the same logic that children are not driven home without a car seat, children should not be allowed to go home with parents who do not possess knowledge of the potential drowning dangers to their newborn babies. Parents need to be aware that they are in the front line in safeguarding their children from preventable drowning.
An essential step to protecting kids around water is the reinforcement of The Josh Project with parents. We hear basic rules such as “don’t text while driving” and “fasten your seat belt for safety” every day, all year round. We should place the same emphasis on basic water safety rules. One of the things that The Josh Project advocates to prevent drowning is to ensure that kids have the three basic survival swimming skills required in case they accidentally fall into deep water. Children need to know basic swimming skills such as rolling, treading, and floating on their backs. Parents should start this training as early as possible and persist until they attain this minimum survival standard.
One of the ways that The Josh Project has been making a difference since its establishment is by helping people understand that although swimming is mostly a mode of entertainment, it is also an essential life skill that needs to be learned by all since it allows one to survive accidents around water, and can also be a means of gainful employment. The overall efforts of The Josh Project aim to address the fears of drowning by black parents. Several adults who have experienced a bad encounter with water during their youth take that fear with them wherever they go forever. Fortunately, some of these parents have been able to enroll their kids for swimming lessons, thanks to The Josh Project. Recent post-lesson surveys have revealed that the water safety practices recommended by The Josh Project to adults and children have helped boost their self-efficacy levels. Both children and parents answered affirmatively when asked whether they could be safer around water after participating in The Josh Project. A recent survey also showed that offering reduced cost or free swimming lessons, alongside supplementary water safety information to parents at a convenient location is essential in inducing re-enrollments and eventually preventing drowning.