Cartoon drowning prevention video - A way to reach children in 8 minutes

TitleCartoon drowning prevention video - A way to reach children in 8 minutes
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsCerqueira, J, Dr Szpilman, MD, D
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other NumbersPO-32

"Prevention is the tool to reduce drowning". With this motto, Brazilian Lifesaving Society has been working since its foundation on the ways to promote prevention among children. One of those tools was a drowning prevention presentation at schools around the country. The problem was the difficulty to inform and be of interest to children without being boring to them, and also to make it easier to reach distant areas in Brazil.

Project: The project "Cartoon Drowning Prevention Video" was an effort to spread the drowning prevention message to children in a fast, uniform, and in an interesting way among all States in Brazil.

Results: The video, which took 10 months to develop and release in December 2006, was sponsored by children's play toys and designed by "Casa Sol espaço de arte e design". The 8 minutes contents starts with information about drowning in the world and in Brazil with a focus on the main 10 beach prevention messages: Watch children carefully, 84% of drowning occurs because of bad adult supervision. The majority in or after lunch time; Never try to help rescue someone without able to do it. Many people have died trying to do so; Avoid drinking alcohol and heaving lunch before swimming; Don’t dive in shallow water – cervical spine injury could happen; Always swim in a lifeguard-supervised area; Ask the lifeguard for safe places to swim or play; Read and follow warning signs posted on the beach; Do not overestimate your swimming capability - 46.6% of drowning victims thought they knew how to swim; Swim away from piers, rocks and stakes; Over 80% of drowning occurs in rip currents (the rip is usually the most falsely calm deeply place between two sand bars). If caught in a rip, swim transversally to the sand bar or let it take you away without fighting and wave for help.

Discussion/conclusion: The cartoon drowning prevention video concluded in December 2006, was seen by more than 200 children at schools and had the feedback the prevention campaign proposed, that is to impact them with important messages on prevention without being boring or uninterested. After the video presentation, the instructor takes a further 10 to 15 minutes to exchange information, answer questions and make final comments. Although too early to conclude its power on Brazilian society, it seems a very easy way to spread the drowning prevention message to public that are mostly affected by it.

Learning Outcomes
  1. How to make prevention attractive for youth?
  2. How to summarize the information you want to spread?
  3. How and where you can use this video?