May is National Water Safety Month. In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities, the month brings attention to best practices for being safe in and around the water.
In Miami-Dade County and Florida, drowning is the No. 1 cause of death of children under age 5. Swimming experts, such as the American Red Cross, advocate water safety education and swimming lessons, as one of the best way to prevent drowning incidents.
To help spread awareness of water safety and the urgency of learning to swim to children and their families, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department together with Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade Drowning Prevention Coalition (DPC) and its partnering municipalities, schools, non-profit and private learn-to-swim providers county-wide, are joining forces to get Miami-Dade youth water-ready.
May begins the “Every Lesson Counts” lean-to-swim water safety campaign in Miami-Dade County, with the goal of teaching and “counting” one million swim lessons annually in the county. The campaign brings together countywide resources for swim lessons and highlights the importance that every child learns to swim.
On May 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Miami-Dade Parks will join DPC and the Trauma Services Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in hosting the ninth annual “Summer Safety Splash” at West Perrine Park Aquatic Center, 10355 SW 172 St. Held in partnership with the Trauma Services Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the free event provides parents and children with resources on swimming lessons, water and child safety and much more.
DPC selected the location for this year’s event because the West Perrine Aquatic Center is located in the zip code which had the county’s highest number of fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents for the 1- to 4-year-old age group.
For additional information about the West Perrine Park Aquatic Center, call 305-969-3886 or visit miamidade.gov.
Help your child be safer at the beach and the pool this summer. Enroll them in Miami-Dade Learn-to-Swim classes, offered at all Miami-Dade County public pools and taught by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors. Learn-to-Swim classes include Parent and Tot (Ages 2-3), Preschool Aquatics (Ages 4-5), Levels 1-6 (Ages 6-18), and Adults.
For more information or to register, contact your desired pool site from the list on the Miami-Dade Parks Learn-to-Swim web page at miamidade.gov.