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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


How do we end drowning?  We change people’s behavior around water. 

How do we change behavior?  We change intrinsic motivation, how someone acts even if no one else is around. 

How do we change intrinsic motivation?  Tell people what to do.  Motivate people to do the right thing.  Make it easy to do the right thing.

How do we make it easy?  Be Directive.  Be Descriptive.  Use 3 words.  

What 3 words do we use?  Teach.  Watch.  Protect. ™

How will 3 words work?  They get people’s attention, it’s the most people can remember, and you can expand on the message once you have their attention.  Use the Key Tasks developed by the International Task Force of the International Life Saving Federation to expand on the meanings of Teach.  Watch.  Protect. ™


Learn swimming and water survival skills.

Never go in the water after drinking alcohol.

Know the weather and water conditions before getting in the water.

Always enter shallow and unknown water feet first.

Help and encourage others, especially children, to learn swimming and water safety survival skills.


Always swim with others.

Swim in areas with a lifeguard.

Always provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water.


Obey all safety signs and warning flags.

Know how and when to use a life jacket, for yourself and especially with children and weak swimmers.

Set water safety rules.

Learn first aid and CPR.

Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.

Can I use these words in my campaign?  

Yes, absolutely!  Teach.  Watch.  Protect. ™ was created by experts in marketing to use exclusively for drowning prevention initiatives.  If your goal is water safety/drowning prevention just send me an e-mail at rebeccalioness@gmail.com and I’ll give you permission to use them on your web-site, in your communication materials, in your teaching, on your Facebook page, or even using smoke signals if it means we keep one more child safer around the water.

If you want more information on how to market drowning prevention effectively, please check out my presentation on ScribD or send me an e-mail and request the Word document.  

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Tags: International, Jabari, Life, Saving, Water, drowning, learn, of, prevention, safety, More…swim, the, to, water


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Comment by Rebecca Wear Robinson on March 21, 2012 at 3:19pm

Yes, I would suggest that everyone in the drowning prevention world agrees about what needs to be communicated, but most of the communication efforts do not meet the criteria for effective marketing that I laid out in my presentation.   Tell people what to do.  Motivate people to do the right thing.  Make it easy to do the right thing.  How do we make it easy?   Be directive.  Be descriptive.  Use 3 words.   I realize this is heresy within the drowning prevention community to suggest this, but Safer 3 does not fit the criteria.  The underlying messages are irrefutable, whether they are communicated is questionable.

Comment by Jayson Jackson on March 21, 2012 at 2:59pm

Very similar to the Safer 3 model.

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