Parks offer water safety, Learn-to-Swim classes

With the warm summer months ahead many families will be spending more time poolside or at the beach, so there is no time like the present to prepare your child for being safe in and around water.

The Miami-Dade County Commission has designated the month of May as “Water Safety Month,” during which the Miami- Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is partnering with the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade to heighten public awareness about the urgency for all youth to receive water safety instruction and swimming lessons to prevent drowning.

In support of this initiative, families are encouraged to attend informative learn-toswim “Summer Safety Splash” community events and register their children for Miami- Dade County Parks’ Learn-to Swim classes.

Nationally, drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-14. Florida has the second-highest number of drowning incidents in the United States, and Miami-Dade County leads the state in drowning deaths.

“We live in a county surrounded by water, so it is critical that citizens make water safety and swimming lessons a priority for their children,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “These essential skills can help save lives. Just one drowning is too many.”

Miami-Dade Parks director Jack Kardys added, “To keep children safe around water, they need to learn how to swim. Our Miami- Dade Parks Learn-to-Swim classes empower children and enable them to safely enjoy a lifetime of fun in and around the water.”

Free community events are presented by Miami-Dade County Parks and Miami Children’s Hospital, with support from AvMed Health Plans, Assurant, the Larry Little Legends Golf Classic and other supporters of the Swim for Jenny Memorial Fund. The fund provides free swimming lessons to disadvantaged children.

More information is available at <>. Activities will include drowning rescue demonstrations; swimming lesson demonstrations; interactive activities related to water safety; supervised water fun for children in the pool and splash playground, and information on the importance of water safety from community leaders.

Locally, the Summer Safety Splash will take place on May 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at A.D. Barnes Pool, 3401 SW 72 Ave. It is sponsored by Miami-Dade County Commission chair Rebecca Sosa.

Miami-Dade County Parks Learn-to- Swim classes are taught by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors. Learn-to-Swim classes include Parent and Tot (ages 2=5), Levels 1-6 (ages 6-18) and adults.

For more information or to register, contact the pool of your interest.

Area year-round pools:

• A.D. Barnes Pool, 3401 SW 72 Ave., 305- 665-1626;

• Helen Sands Pool, 16350 SW 280 St., 305-248-1386, and

• Tamiami Pool, 11201 SW 24 St., 305- 223-7077. Area seasonal pools (open summer

months only):

• Naranja Pool, 14150 SW 264 St., 305- 257-0404;

• Sgt. Joseph Delancy Pool, 14375 Boggs Dr., 305-238-5692, and

• Tropical Estates Pool, 10201 SW 48 St., 305-221-5041.

All pools are outdoors and pool lifts are available at all pools.

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