As summer officially kicks off and the weather heats up, there’s no better time to head to the pool!
But as families head out to cool off, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions parents to beware of drowning risks. A 2022 report released by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that drownings remain the leading cause of accidental death in kids under 4 years old. While there are many ways to combat child drownings, research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning for kids ages 1-4 by 88 percent.
To ensure that all kids have access to the life-saving swim lessons they need, this week, on June 23, the annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson event will bring together hundreds of swim instructors across 14 countries and 42 US states to teach over 40,000 kids vital water safety skills.
Kids will learn the basics of swimming and water safety at each host location, including how to enter the water, float, tread water, and more. Parents and families are welcome to join in the fun and will be taught how to set up safety barriers around water and how to be an effective water watcher. While some host locations may charge for facility entry, many lessons are free of charge.
“The World Waterpark Association created the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson event in 2010 to harness the passion that aquatics professionals have for preventing the loss of life due to drowning in their communities,” Aleatha Ezra, Director of Park Member Development for the World Waterpark Association, told The Bump. Adding, “This is a global water safety education and awareness event focused on teaching kids and families the importance of learning to swim, constant supervision of swimmers and using layers of protection around water. The goal for this annual event is to send a focused, global message that Swimming Lessons Save Lives and everyone must be water aware.”
Since the inception of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson event in 2010, over 332,000 children and adults have participated, saving countless lives.
If you are interested in finding a host location near you, visit wlsl.org
For more tips and information on pool safety, visit PoolSafely.gov.