Today, the annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) event takes place in 14 countries and 42 states across the United States. Coordinated by the World Waterpark Association, water safety and training organizations, YMCAs, and swim schools bring together hundreds of swim instructors to teach tens of thousands of kids water safety skills to help prevent childhood drowning.
Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2021 showed that drowning is now the leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 4 years. Additionally, drowning continues as the second leading cause of unintended injury related to death in children aged 4 to 14 years, and third for ages 15 to 17 years. The World Health Organization reported that drowning accounts for 7% of all injury related deaths worldwide.
Showing the benefits of life saving swim education, the AAP also showed that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning for children ages 1 to 4 by 88%. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there continues to be a lifeguard and swim instructor shortage, making finding swimming lessons difficult. The World Waterpark Association urges parents to find local WLSL Host locations at WLSL.org and even after enrollment in swim lessons, to back up that training with constant adult supervision whenever a child is in or near the water.
World’s Largest Swimming Lesson ™ (# WLSL2022) takes place Thursday, June 23rd on five continents to battle leading cause of death for kids ages 1-4. Cision PR Newswire. Press release. Published June 21, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/worlds-largest-swimming-lesson-wlsl2022-takes-place-thursday-june-23rd-on-five- continents-to-battle-leading-cause-of-death-for-kids-ages-1-4-301571498.html