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World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ higlhights



Five continents battle leading cause of death for kids ages 1-4


The annual World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ event, coordinated by the World Waterpark Association, brings together leading water safety and training organizations with waterparks, aquatic centers, YMCAs and swim schools around the world to send one focused message –
Swimming Lessons Save Lives™.

Hundreds of swim instructors in 14 countries and 42 states across the U.S. are kicking off the official start of summer by teaching tens of thousands of kids vital water safety skills to raise awareness and help prevent childhood drowning.

Research released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2021 shows drowning has become the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. And, drowning remains the second leading cause of unintended injury related death for kids 4-14 and the third for adolescents ages 15-17. Per the World Health Organization, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths worldwide. The issue is truly a matter of life and death for kids and families in every community around the globe.

Research from the AAP also shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning for kids ages 1-4 by 88%. Current lifeguard and swim instructor shortages following the COVID-19 pandemic can make finding swimming lessons a challenge. Parents can find local WLSL Host Locations in their community at WLSL.org. TEAM WLSLTM urges parents and caregivers to take the time to find and enroll their kids in formal swim lessons and to back that training up with constant adult supervision whenever kids are in or near the water.

BACKGROUND

  • The problem is real: According to the CDC, every year (from 2010-2019) in the United States there are an estimated 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings, including boating-related drowning—that is an average of 11 drowning deaths per day. Drowning is an even greater threat in other countries around the world. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 236,000 people died from drowning in 2019, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide
  • Many lack basic swimming skills: According to a 2020 research study by the American Red Cross, more than half (54%) of kids ages 4-17 cannot perform the basic water safety skills they need to save their life.
  • Parental supervision is key: According to a 2016 Safe Kids Worldwide report, despite the fact that lack of supervision played a role in the majority of drowning deaths, less than half of parents (49 percent) indicate they remain within arms' reach of their child in the water.
  • Males are at the most risk: According to the CDC, nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.

About The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™

The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is celebrating its 13th year of raising awareness about the critical importance of teaching kids AND parents to Be Water Aware™ to prevent drowning. The WLSL event, first launched in 2010, serves as a platform to use one voice to send the clear and united message, Swimming Lessons Save Lives™. Since its inception, more than 332,000 children and adults have participated in lifesaving WLSL lessons, generating more than two billion media impressions about the vital importance of learning to swim. Learn more about this phenomenal program by visiting www.WLSL.org.

Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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