Safety Advocates To Gather For Drowning Prevention Symposium

NDPA logoTop aquatics safety experts and advocates will gather in San Diego March 8-9 for the 11th Annual National Drowning Prevention Symposium. The event, organized by the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and sponsored by the Swim For Life Foundation, D&D Technologies and the United States Swim School Association, will take place at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina in San Diego.

Stephen Beerman, president of the International Life Saving Federation, headquartered in Belgium, will deliver the keynote address on March 8. His presentation, “Immunization for Drowning Prevention,” will draw insight from the 2011 World Conference on Drowning Prevention, held in Danang, Vietnam, and challenge attendees to approach drowning prevention from a public health perspective.  

“We chose the theme ‘Everybody In!’ for this symposium because it’s a water safety philosophy that is alive in San Diego,” said symposium co-chair Mary Ann Downing of San Diego, who serves on the NDPA board of directors. “Symposium attendees will be inspired by what they hear. Connections and life-changing collaborations will result and great ideas will flow outward from NDPA symposium participants.”

Among the highlighted topics to be presented during the two-day educational event are:

March 8

• What Child Death Review Teams Can Tell Us About Drownings; Teresa Covington, M.D., director National Center for Child Death Review

• Asking the Right Questions: The Final Step in Managing Aquatic Risk; Mario Vittone, Maritime Safety Expert

March 9

• The Dangers and Benefits of Drowning in Cold Water; Gordon Gliesbrecht, Ph.D., University of Manitoba, Winnepeg

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) New Drowning Prevention Initiative; Julie Gilchrist, M.D., CDC epidemiologist 

Drowning is among the top 10 leading causes of unintentional death for all ages nationally. Between 1999 and 2009 an average of more than 3,500 lives were lost in the United States each year due to unintentional drowning. 

The annual symposium highlights the best-of-the-best in drowning prevention educational programs, strategies, and products for individuals and organizations. Its purpose is to empower attendees so they can replicate successful events and educational activities in their own communities and improve public awareness. For more information, or to register, visit

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