On Thursday, June 22 the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (Parks Department) will participate in the Guinness Book of World Records’ World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL), an annual event uniting aquatics facilities from around the world to raise awareness about the critical need for water safety education and swimming lessons to prevent drownings.
“Miami-Dade County is proud to join this global event that aims to keep our children safe around the water, especially now that we are entering the hot summer months,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Swimming is a critical life-saving skill for everyone, and drownings are completely preventable if we are prepared and have the tools to avoid them. Miami-Dade County is working with our parks, first responders, and community partners to expand access to water safety and learn-to-swim lessons, as well as recruiting more lifeguards and swim instructors.”
Throughout the day, children, ages six to 14 who take Learn2Swim classes at Miami-Dade Parks pools as part of their enrollment in the Parks Department’s Summer Camp program, will participate in the simultaneous worldwide swimming lesson.
The event will begin at 10:15 a.m. at Miami-Dade’s Tropical Estates Park Pool and at 11:15 a.m. at Oak Grove Park (Fr. Gerard Jean Juste Community Center) , Wilbur B. Bell Park (West Perrine Aquatic Center), and South Dade Park Aquatic Center. These four Miami-Dade County pools will join water safety and training organizations, waterparks, aquatic centers, YMCAs, and swim schools around the world on this day universally designated to send one focused message: Swimming Lessons Save Lives.
The group swimming lessons will cover basic swim strokes, learning how to stay safe in and around water, and the importance of adult supervision when swimming. Miami-Dade Parks, as a host location, will be responsible for counting, recording and submitting the total number of lesson participants to the World Waterpark Association to qualify as part of the final official count of the 2023 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.
Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death among children ages one to five and the second leading cause for ages 14 and under, nationwide. Florida has the second highest number of drowning incidents in the United States, and Miami-Dade County leads the state in drowning deaths.
The Miami-Dade County SPLASH initiative – which stands for Safety, Prevention, Learn2Swim, Awareness, Saving Lives and H2O- is a collaborative effort between the Miami-Dade County Parks Department and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, under the leadership of Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, to deliver water safety resources to all residents, raising community awareness around the importance of teaching all kids to swim. These programs include swimming classes, water safety messaging, and other measures proven to reduce, prevent, and ultimately, eliminate water-related injuries and deaths.
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