The American Red Cross is joining the nation’s leading water safety organizations today to present The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, an international attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever.
Children from all over the globe will jump into the water at 11:00 a.m. (ET) for a swimming lesson at hundreds of aquatic facilities from Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in Florida, the event’s official headquarters, to as far away as Zambia, Lebanon, South Korea and Dubai. The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ is being held to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning, the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death in children up to 14 years old.
One facility taking part is the Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center in Woodbridge, Va., which runs a Red Cross swimming program. Aquatics Manager Kathryn Nestler reported about 25 children will be part of the event there, all students at a local daycare center. “These kids don’t have many opportunities for swimming lessons,” she said. “This is a great day for them to start to learn to swim and hopefully in the future their parents can sign them up for more lessons.” The children will receive the free 40-minute swimming lesson, then enjoy some time in the pool and end their visit with goodie bags.
“Swimming lessons definitely save lives,” Kathryn said. “They are a huge benefit to everyone.” She added next year the Chinn facility wants to expand their participation in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ by inviting more schools to take part.
This is the second year for the worldwide swimming lesson. The first was conducted in 2010 when almost 4,000 students across 34 states, 5 countries and 3 continents participated.
If you can’t make it to The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, the Red Cross teaches people of all ages and varying abilities how to swim and be safe around the water. The courses combine swimming instruction with a strong emphasis on drowning prevention and water safety. The Red Cross also offers professional lifeguard, water safety instructor, and lifeguarding instructor courses. Red Cross swimming and water safety courses are offered by local aquatic facilities. To find a facility in your area, contact your local Red Cross chapter.
The Red Cross also offers Home Pool Essentials™: Maintenance and Safety, an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Jointly developed by the Red Cross and the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF), the course teaches home pool owners the basics of pool and hot tub maintenance along with strategies for creating a safer environment. To register, go to homepoolessentials.org.
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™is being sponsored by Auro-Dri®, the most recommended remedy for swimmer’s ear by the American Swimming Coaches Association, as part of their ongoing effort to promote children’s water safety.