Swimming Lessons A Key To Swimming Pool and Water Safety

Swimming Lessons A Key To Swimming Pool and Water Safety

Water, water everywhere: Swimming lessons are critical

From Miami Herald

According to this post from the Miami Herald, one could fill three classrooms with the amount of children under the age of 5 that drown in the state of Florida each year.  The CDC has been sponsoring a national movement to bring water safety to the forefront, but one of the major keys in preventing accidential drowinings is teaching kids how to swim.  This post talks about the importance of early swim lessons in this endeavor.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Miami Mayor Thomas Regalado reminded the kids, “The water can be fun, but it also can be dangerous,” and pointed to the occasional news reports of fire-rescue workers pulling a drowned youngster out of the water.

Indeed, the Florida Department of Health notes the state loses more children under 5 to drowning than any other state. “Annually, in Florida, enough children to fill three or four classrooms drown and do not live to see their fifth birthday,” the department says on its website.

That’s the spark for the plethora of water safety and swimming classes in South Florida municipalities, as well as Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The city of Miami’s Grapeland Park will put on its first water safety event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday with representatives from Miami Fire Rescue, Miami Police Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Through SWIM Central, Broward’s coordinating agency for water-safety instruction and awareness since 1999, nearly 500,000 children have learned to swim. The program, which is funded by Broward’s Children Services Council, the Broward administration and the Broward County Schools, allows nearly 25,000 children — mainly 5- and 6-year-olds — to get 10-day swim sessions during the school year.

Jay Sanford, the senior program coordinator for SWIM Central, said the mission of the program is to give every child access to water safety.

“Drowning is a universal problem and it need a universal solution,” he said.

Last year, the Broward Sheriff’s Office used the majority of a $70,000 anonymous gift to help SWIM Central provide swimming lessons for 1,500 kids through summer camps. Sanford said the program will use some of that money and other funds to work with camps this year as well.

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