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World’s largest swimming lesson turns 10

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) organizers anticipate more than 600 facilities will host a WLSL event in more than 20 countries.
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) organizers anticipate more than 600 facilities will host a WLSL event in more than 20 countries.

Registration for the 2019 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL), which will take place on June 20, is now open.

Organizers are urging aquatic facilities of all types to show their commitment to water safety and drowning prevention by registering as an official host location at www.wlsl.org, and sharing their dedication on social media.

The purpose of the event is to provide kids and parents exposure to life-saving water safety skills and build awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. Program organizers 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.

According to research by the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, accounting for seven per cent of all injury-related deaths.

In 2014, a survey completed by the American Red Cross found more than half of all Americans (54 per cent) either cannot swim or do not have all of the basic swimming skills. Further, according to a 2016 Safe Kids Worldwide report, despite the fact that lack of super vision played a role in the majority of drowning deaths, less than half of parents (49 per cent) indicate they remain within arms’ reach of their child in the water.

One reason for these statistics is that many children either cannot swim or lack the basic swimming skills needed. Further, parents do not recognize supervision is also crucial. 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 per cent) indicate they remain within arms’ reach of their child in the water.

That said, since the WLSL event launched in 2010, the “Swimming Lessons Save Lives” message has been share with more than a billion people. This year, program organizers anticipate more than 600 facilities will host a WLSL event in more than 20 countries.

In a 24-hour period, more than 700 waterparks, pools, YMCAs, and swim schools in 44 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces (up to 19 locations from six in 2017), and 29 countries enabled 41,814 swimmers to participate in 2018.

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