Registration for the 2019 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) is now open. This year’s event will take place Thursday, June 20th. Organisers are urging aquatic facilities of all types to show their love for water safety and drowning prevention by registering as an official 2019 Host Location and sharing that love on social media.
The purpose of the lesson? Provide kids and parents exposure to life-saving water safety skills and build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. Program organisers are working to connect the dots between the real risk of childhood drowning and the need for basic water competency skills and crucial parental supervision to keep kids safe in and around the water. Research shows:
The problem is life threatening for children: Per the World Health Organisation, drowning is third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, accounting for seven percent of all injury-related deaths. In the U.S., drowning remains the leading cause of injury related death for children ages one to four, and the second leading cause for children under 14.
Many lack basic swimming skills: In 2014, a survey completed by the American Red Cross found more than half of all Americans (54 percent) either can’t swim or don’t have all of the basic swimming skills.
Parents don’t recognise 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.
However, there is reason to hope. Since the WLSL event launched in 2010, the Swimming Lessons Save Lives message has been shared with more than a billion people. Now in its 10th year, program organisers anticipate more than 600 facilities will host a WLSL event in more than 20 countries. Register at WLSL.org.