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BLOG POST / November 6, 2020

Learning to Swim is Essential

Learning to swim is a life-or-death skill, essential for every child.  Formal swim lessons between ages 1 and 4 can help reduce the risk of drowning by 88% according to a study conducted in 2015.[1] Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 4 and a leading cause for young people up to 14 years of age.[2]  A young child can drown in less than 2 inches of water.[3]

The risk of drowning is a public health risk and childhood established swimming skills are one of the integral drowning prevention strategies identified by national drowning prevention communities and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that ALL children learn to swim as early as age 1. [4] Removing access to water safety and swimming lessons inherently puts children more at risk of drowning.

Furthermore, private indoor swim school businesses that are operating are doing so without a single outbreak of COVID (or any other respiratory pathogen).[5] According to the CDC, a properly maintained swimming pool should inactivate the virus.[6] Indoor swimming pools are required to have a very high ventilation rate to assist in removing the byproducts of the chlorine that is added to the pool water, which means an indoor pool area will have the highest air turn-over and most fresh air of any other space within that building. Additionally reducing air velocity is important in indoor pools to reduce evaporation, however it turns out that reducing air velocity also helps minimize the spread of airborne pathogens.

USSSA member swim schools are following the USSSA COVID Action Plan based on CDC guidelines to even further reduce the risk of COVID transmission while attending lessons at a swim school and working to create the safest environment possible.

This infographic (with photo pre-COVID) explains the facts of drowning and the benefits of learning to swim. Learning to swim is a lifesaving skill, essential to the health and development of children.

   

 

[1] Association Between Swimming Lessons and Drowning in Childhood, A Case-Control Study: Ruth Brenner, et al., 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151293/

[2] https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/campaigns/drowning-prevention/Pages/default.aspx

[3] https://downloads.aap.org/DOPA/Drowning-Prevention/is_your_baby_crawling_english.pdf

[4] https://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Updated-Recommendations-to-Prevent-Drowning-in-Children.aspx

[5] https://www.usswimschools.org/2020/07/early-data-shows-swim-school-safety-precautions-working/

[6] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/parks-rec/aquatic-venues.html

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