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Make a Splash for kids’ swimming and water safety

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Make a Splash for kids’ swimming and water safety

Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones leads a swimming lesson at the Ft. Lauderdale Swimming Hall of Fame/courtesy USA Swimming Foundation

Recently, I was shocked to learn the leading cause of death for Florida kids 1-5 years old is drowning. It’s chilling, really, considering nearly everyone I know has a backyard pool (uh, my family does) or lives on a canal (that’s two strikes against us) — and we have two children in this age group and know lots of kids this age. We are all for water safety. Both our sons have taken swimming lessons off and on from the time they were infants, and we practice with them in the pool. I hope they will become strong swimmers.

I myself fell into a pool when I was 3 and was pulled out by an older brother. So I can relate to the admirable efforts of Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, who had a near-drowning experience as a little boy, which prompted him to learn to swim. Jones won a gold medal in the freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympics and has set new records. So Jones had quite a story to tell, and skill to teach, to kids this summer on USA Swimming’s Make a Splash Tour. Unfortunately, I missed his visits in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. But I think it’s a great idea to continue to spread the word about the importance of learning to swim.

Check out MakeASplash.org to find free or low-cost swimming lessons wherever you live in the United States.

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