World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (#WLSL2022) Battles Leading Cause of Death for Kids Ages 1-4 By Teaching Families How to Be Water Aware

Global learn-to-swim event shares water safety education and raises awareness to prevent drowning.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — TEAM WLSL™ (@TheWLSL), a global team of aquatic facilities and safety organizations coordinated by the World Waterpark Association (WWA), kicked off the first official weekend of summer today with tens of thousands of kids learning critical water safety skills.

"As temperatures rise, kids and families spend more time in and around water. Whether they’re taking a dip in the pool or spending time at a waterpark, on the beach or at the lake, we want everyone to know how to Be Water Aware," said Rick Root, WWA President. "Ensuring every child learns to swim is one of most crucial layers of protection a parent can provide to keep their kids safer in and around the water."

Hundreds of swim instructors at pools and waterparks on five continents — from India to Indiana and Uruguay to the UAE – worked together to teach kids and their parents key water competency skills like how to float, how to make their way to a safe exit and how to rest and breathe.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and NFL legend Randy Moss helped kick off the lesson at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park in Lake Buena Vista, FL where 350 children from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida and Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida participated in one of the largest events in the U.S.

Research released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2021 shows drowning has become the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. Drowning remains the second leading cause of unintended injury related death for kids 4-14 and the third for adolescents 15-17 in the U.S. and 3rd leading cause worldwide.

The solution? Parents and caregivers must provide layers of protection including formal swimming lessons, constant supervision, proper barriers and requiring weak or non-swimmers to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life-jackets. The AAP’s recent report encourages early participation in lessons as a vital layer of protection as research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning up to 88% among children aged 1 to 4.

"We want all parents to understand that when it comes to protecting kids, swimming lessons and undistracted adult supervision are as important as car seats and bike helmets," said Root.

B-Roll and Soundbites from the 6/23/22 World’s Largest Swimming Lesson event:

  • NFL legend Randy Moss kicks off swim lesson at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Children learning basic swim strokes, kicking, blowing bubbles, doing the back float with swim instructors.
  • Soundbites: WLSL Hosts and participants on why they’re participating in today’s event.
About The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ is celebrating its 13th year of raising awareness about the critical importance of teaching kids and parents how to Be Water Aware™ to prevent drowning. The WLSL event, first launched in 2010, serves as a platform to use one voice to send a united message, Swimming Lessons Save Lives™. Since its inception, more than 332,000 children and adults have participated in lifesaving WLSL lessons in 48 countries, generating more than two billion media impressions about the vital importance of learning to swim. Learn more about this phenomenal program and how to participate on June 22, 2023 by visiting Twitter – @TheWLSL, Instagram – @team_wlsl.

Contact: Aleatha Ezra 
Phone: 913-599-0300

SOURCE World Waterpark Association