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New Jersey Lawmakers Reintroduce Water Safety Education Bill for Public Schools

New Jersey

Members of New Jersey’s legislative assembly have introduced a new water safety education bill, Bill No. A-618. 

The bill will require school districts to incorporate instruction on water safety as part of the health education curriculum for students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 12. 

Bill A-618 would require that students be taught the proper use of flotation devices, how to become aware of water conditions, the danger of rip currents, and how to respond if caught in one, and the importance of swimming in areas monitored by a lifeguard.

This year marks the 4th year New Jersey State Assemblyman Sean T. Kean & Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz will try to get the State to pass legislation requiring NJ school districts to provide instruction on water safety in NJ public schools. 

The new Water Safety education additions would be incorporated under the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education.

A second Bill, number A-3776, would require the Commissioner of Education to develop an educational fact sheet on water safety for public and non-public schools that would be given to parents and guardians when their child is enrolled in school.

Assemblyman Sean Kean of NJ has led the way in getting Water Safety curriculum to become an integral part of every child’s education in New Jersey.  

He has been joined by swim industry professionals, non-profit organizations, emergency responders, parents, and teachers, to support the movement and make water safety an important part of learning for all children throughout the state. 

NJSSA - NJ Swim Safety Alliance

One such organization, the NJ Swim Safety Alliance (NJSSA), is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to unifying New Jersey aquatic and swim organizations and advocating for viable, safe conduct and enjoyment of the critical life skill of swimming.  

Joe Oehme, owner and founder of Njswim, is a Board Member of the NJSSA and has advocated teaching water safety to children in NJ for over 30 years.

Kean recently produced a video for the National Water Safety Month of May, outlining the new and improved water safety Bill A-618 and requesting support from families throughout New Jersey for this vital legislation. 

Oehme and Kean point out that drowning is a leading cause of death for children and that all children throughout the state of NJ should have access to water safety education.  

“Not every child across the State of New Jersey has access to a quality water safety program. This Bill will give every child an equal chance to be educated on water safety.” 

Water Safety Education for All Children

There is a movement throughout the country to make water safety education a priority for children in kindergarten through Grade 12. 

The States of California, Florida and Louisiana have already passed important legislation making water safety education a statewide requirement. Similar Bills are now before lawmakers in New York State (Senate Bill S7938) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers Classroom Resources for Teachers as part of their nationwide “Saving Lives, Protecting People” initiative. 

How to Get Involved  Show your Support for Water Safety Education in our Schools

Please show your support for water safety education for every child and help pass this landmark legislation this year!  

It’s simple; please visit Support Water Safety Education in NJ and follow three simple steps to submit your letter of support to your New Jersey State Assembly Members and Senators.

Click Here to Show Your Support for Water Safety Education

Njswim Team & Families in Support of Water Safety Bill A618

For over 20 years, Njswim has been an advocate and thought leader in teaching water safety to children in New Jersey. 

They offer free water safety presentations to hundreds of elementary and pre-schools every year, complete with child-friendly mascots, storyboard presentations and interactive props that include and inspire school children. 

But, for every child they reach, there are thousands of children that are not properly trained on how to be careful and remain safe, in or near water, and all too often, the results can be tragic.