Although it's not officially Summer, it sure feels like it is! With pool season beginning, it's important that your community stays safe in the water over the next few months. This wellness blog will talk about pool safety, and the opportunity to host a "World's Largest Swimming Lesson" event in your community.
The Worlds Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) will take place on Thursday, June 21st. Created in 2010, the WLSL "serves as a platform to help the global aquatics industry work together to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning." WLSL events take place in more than 20 countries on five continents!
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an average of about 10 people per day in America die from drowning accidents. The NSC goes on to elaborate that drowning is a leading cause of death among Americans.
An even greater risk is posed to children. According to the WLSL, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended death for US children between the ages of 1-14.
While these statistics may be daunting, teaching children to swim can help prevent these accidents. "Research shows risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent if children participate in formal swimming lessons between the ages of 1-4."
An American Red Cross survey from 2014 found that almost half of Americans can't swim. The WLSL exists to help change this statistic.
Recreation and park departments are a vital provider of water activities to our communities. Many departments offer swimming in community pools and lakes, in addition to the numerous opportunities for paddling and boating that your department may offer. Your department should consider holding a WLSL event (or any other swimming lesson opportunity) to ensure that safety is a priority.
Interested in hosting a WLSL event? Visit this webpage for more information.
Additionally, be sure that you are promoting safe pool practices. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind:
Keep pool toys not in use away from the pool
Implement the “buddy system” for use
If a child is missing, look for him or her in the water first
Flotation devices are not meant to serve as a water supervision device
I hope everyone stays safe this summer!
Until next time,