Through "Make a Splash" Initiative, Foundation Continues Outreach, Promotion of Life-Saving Learn-to-Swim Instruction.
As cities across the nation, including Minneapolis, Volusia County, Fla. and Indiana experience record drownings this summer, the USA Swimming Foundation continues its efforts to raise awareness about water safety and the importance of life-saving swimming lessons.
The Foundation is touring the nation with Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, the survivor of a near-drowning himself, with the "Make a Splash Tour with Cullen Jones, presented by ConocoPhillips." The tour is visiting six U.S. cities this year to raise awareness of the issue.
"It breaks my heart every time I read about a drowning, especially when it involves a child," said Jones. "In many cases, these tragedies can be avoided, simply by learning to swim. Learning to swim is the best way to be safe around the water, and through my work with the USA Swimming Foundation, I'm very proud that we can help provide that opportunity for children, and help them stay safe in and around the water."
Each year, more than 3,400 people drown in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 1 in 5 fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14. Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 14.
The USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash initiative works to raise awareness of water safety among parents and community leaders, and provides swimming lessons through a network of more than 400 local partner programs in 45 states. These local partners offer free or discounted swim lessons, or provide free water safety education for their communities. To date, more than 850,000 children have taken life-saving swimming lessons through Make a Splash local partners.
To find a local partner near you, visit www.makeasplash.org.
Here are five tips for keeping children safe in and around water this summer:
- Teach children to swim. Research shows that parents are the most influential factors in whether or not a child learns to swim. Only 13 percent of children from non-swimming households will ever learn to swim, according to the University of Memphis.
- Make sure a responsible adult is watching the water at all times. Drowning can be completely silent, and typically, when a child drowns, the parent or caregiver has been away from the child for less than five minutes, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Remind kids to always obey the rules of the pool, not to jump on or dunk other swimmers and not to jump or dive unless they know how deep the water is.
- Require kids to always swim with a buddy.
- Remember, you don't have to be at a pool to drown. Lakes, rivers, large puddles and any other bodies of water also require caution. Make sure your child knows how to swim, whether or not they'll be around a pool this summer.
To learn about USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash initiative, visit www.makeasplash.org.
About the USA Swimming Foundation
The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions. Whether we're equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country. The Foundation also serves as the home for our National and Olympic Team Alumni reunions and regional events. The development efforts of the USA Swimming Foundation aim to establish an endowment to strengthen the future of USA Swimming's programs and services. To learn more, visit www.swimfoundation.org