Muskegon Water Safety Task Force Recognizes “World Drowning Prevention Day”

Launches water safety survey for Muskegon County

Muskegon, Mich. (July 23, 2021) – The Muskegon Water Safety Task Force, led by Mercy Health Muskegon, plans to recognize World Drowning Prevention Day by launching a county-wide water safety survey. 

Earlier this year, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing drowning as an important international issue and established a globally coordinated approach to drowning prevention. World Drowning Prevention Day will be observed for the first time on July 25, 2021. 

“Drownings are responsible for more than 2.5 million deaths over the past decade. The UN Global Drowning Prevention Resolution and international day of observance helps our local task force place a spotlight on these preventable deaths and the low-cost strategies we can use to save lives,” said Holly Alway, injury prevention coordinator at Mercy Health Muskegon.

Last year in Muskegon County, there were four fatal drownings and 395 water-related injuries that resulted in emergency department visits. 44% of these injuries were children under the age of 18. 

The Muskegon Water Safety Task Force has worked with researchers at Western Michigan University to develop a water safety survey to better understand the shared risks and protective factors related to drownings. The survey covers a wide range of questions from swimming ability, access to beaches and lakes, and water safety basics.

“We will be using the survey results to guide our efforts to ensure that all residents and visitors to Muskegon can swim and play in the water safely. It is also our hope that the survey will reveal any existing social equity issues around water safety that need to be addressed,” said Alway.

The survey will be open on July 25 and can be completed by anyone. Participants completing the survey are eligible to win one of several $25 Lakeshore Cash gift certificates. The survey can be taken online at https://forms.office.com/r/81gyqkR0PX

“Prevention is key when it comes to water safety, and the Muskegon Water Safety Task Force has the tools to help prevent these deaths, but we need community input to ensure we are on the right track,” added Alway. 

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