VIRGINIA BEACH — Local company Swimways Corp. is launching its International Learn to Swim Day program on Saturday.
Company officials said they want to encourage parents and caregivers to take steps to ensure their kids learn to swim not only for fun, but for their safety.
The company founded National Learn to Swim Day in 2012 and have expanded internationally, all in an effort to teach families the importance of learning how to swim.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4, and the second-leading cause for children younger than 14.
Furthermore, according to research conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation, 64 percent of African-American, 45 percent of Hispanic/Latino, and 40 percent of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability.
“While swimming is an important life skill for kids to learn, it’s also a fun activity for families to enjoy together,” said Monica Jones, vice president of marketing for Swimways. “Swimways is passionate about making sure kids are safer in and around the water, and believes the pool should be a special place where families and friends can connect and relax.”
The benefits of learning to swim don’t stop with fun and safety, officials said.
According to a national survey commissioned by Swimways, more than four out of five parents understand that learning to swim by age 5 increases a child’s self-confidence, but 88 percent of parents are unaware it can also aid in the development of mathematical skills.
In addition, only 14 percent understand it can help develop oral expression, and less than half understand it can boost children’s social skills, according to the survey.
To celebrate Swimways’ International Learn to Swim Day events, they recommend these activities for parents and caregivers:
Get educated with the best resources available:
Incorporate swim training gear, water toys, pool floats and pool games to make learning to swim a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy together
To find a pool that offers swimming lessons near you, click here.