ALL non-swimmers need Lifejackets, in All Pools, NOW!

We are really missing the boat on lifejackets in the swimming pool industry.
We have transitioned to seat belts, air bags, helmets and many other technological devices to protect our children in a myriad of activities, EXCEPT FOR SWIMMING. I have met too many conscientious parents and well trained lifeguards who have totally missed drowning children while they were supervising them. Many swim instructors now require lifejackets for students in classes when the child is waiting their turn for instruction. Lifejackets are the BEST layer of protection for ALL bodies of water, including swimming pools. Based on case studies we have now, like Upper St. Clair, PA which reduced water rescues by more than 80% with the implementation of Note and Float, lifejackets produce positive results: fewer drownings, fewer rescues, increased swim lesson enrollments, and better acceptance of lifejacket use in general. Lifejackets float; non-swimmers don’t…let’s get moving forward with lifejackets to save lives. Children don’t deserve to drown.  I truly believe if our industry required lifejackets in swimming pools in the same fashion as car seat/belt requirement in cars, we would reduce the drowning rate in this country by 50%.

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Comment by bob pratt on August 10, 2011 at 8:20am

One positive unintended consequence might be more kids learning to swim. I can't imagine kids wanting to wear the lifejackets and I'm sure peers especially teen males will use it as a point of ridicule. This might encourage kids to learn to swim (or avoid the pool).

Several Lake Michigan beaches have 'loaner' lifejackets available. Unfortunately most hang unused even on "red flag" days.

Comment by Tom Griffiths on July 11, 2011 at 12:24pm
Thanks for your support.  Keep up the good work!
Comment by Pete DeQuincy on June 29, 2011 at 7:54pm


East Bay Regional Parks is a strong advocate for lifejacket use. We piloted the program in 2005, and last year we loaned out over 8000 lifejackets. We're piloting the use of more user-friendly, colorful lifejackets (the Stearns Puddlejumper) rather than the old standard orange (type II). We're hoping to make lifejacket cooler and reduce the stigma. As always we encourage active adult supervision and swim lessons.

Lastly, you gave a great talk regarding, "Note and Float" in San Diego. It's a great cause.

Comment by Tom Griffiths on June 14, 2011 at 4:50am
Love sponsorships for lifejackets, Jim!  In fact, I believe most "Note and Float" subscribers have sponsors purchase the lifejackets in return for their logo or AD printed on the jacket.  What company wouldn't want to have their company logo on a colorful lifejacket with a smiling non-swimmer safely bobbing on the surface of the water because of their donation?  We have to track "Note and Float" subscribers in the near future to share success stories (and possible pitfalls) in the very near future.  Thanx for your help and support Jim!
Comment by Jim Wheeler on June 13, 2011 at 10:17am

Well put Tom. These are an easy sponsorship sell, we received $3,000 from Kaiser Permenente a huge California HMO for buying Lifejacjkets for our non-swimmers. Water Safety Products was able to put the Kaiser logo on them for next to nothing and now we have them available for non-swimmers at our pools.



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