Coast Guard Auxiliary working to prevent child drownings

Coast Guard Auxiliary working to prevent child drownings

Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have been talking to Contra Costa elementary school students about water safety.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (May 30, 2023) — With kids heading into summer – and water-related activities – it’s imperative to keep them safe.

That’s where the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Water Safety for Kids comes in.

This year, Flotilla 53 has brought this program to 1,602 students in various elementary schools in Contra Costa County. They teach using a variety of hands-on activities, visual aids and participation, showing children how to be safe when they are in, on or around the water.

Children learn what to do (and what not to do) in real-life situations, such as helping someone who is struggling in the water, what to do if their boat should capsize, not to swim alone but to use the buddy system and the importance of making sure their life jacket fits properly. In compliance with state law, children under the age of 13 are required to wear a life jacket when in, on or around the water.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death. For children 5-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death.

Every year in the United States, there are an estimated 4,000 fatal drownings – an average of 11 drowning deaths per day. In addition, there are 8,000 non-fatal drownings that have a range of outcomes, including serious injuries or permanent disability.

The Water Safety for Kids program also encourages students to teach the safety measures they have learned at school to their families and friends. In this way, more children can be aware of ways to avoid water-related accidents.

These free assemblies will be available for summer school programs and daycare centers. For more information or to schedule an assembly, contact Margie Balch at 925-768-1608.