The Water Watchers Campaign is a joint program of Eugene Family YMCA, Willamalane Park and Recreation District, City of Eugene Recreation, River Road Park and Recreation District, and Veneta Community Pool to encourage individuals to commit to keeping kids in and around the water safe.
The Water Watchers Campaign invites individuals to sign a pledge declaring their commitment to watching children in and around pools and other water bodies and responding in the case of an emergency. Those who pledge agree that they have a responsibility to keep kids safe in and around water.
Water Watchers pledge to:
- Actively watch the children in and around water.
- Keep their eyes on the water.
- Avoid distractions like talking on the phone, socializing, or reading while watching children.
- Keep a phone near water for emergencies.
- Remain by the water until relieved by a new water watcher.
- Be aware of currents, undertows, water temperatures and obstructions in natural water bodies.
- Require a well-fitting life jacket for children on boats.
Water Watchers for Water Safety
Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2017, drowning claimed the lives of almost 1,000 U.S. children.
"Water safety is always a top priority, especially in Oregon where families love to spend time outside--in the comfort of their own yard or at any one of our state's beautiful swimming holes," said Sabrina Hershey Black, the Eugene Family YMCA's Aquatics Director. "This year is particularly worrisome because coronavirus has kept kids out of school and busy parents are trying to juggle work and parenting. When we pull out kiddie pools and inflatable pools or take trips to nearby ponds, lakes or streams, we need to make sure that children are supervised at all times."