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Worldwide swim lesson brings awareness to childhood drowning

Hawaiian Falls in Waco among waterparks that participated
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Tuesday, hundreds of pools, waterparks and aquatic centers around the world, including Hawaiian Falls in Waco, participated in “The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson” to raise awareness about childhood drowning.

In Waco, children and their families learned skills like bobbing, floating, keeping their head above water, and learning to kick.

“We want to stress to parents that you need to keep your eyes on your kid at all times if they’re near the water,” said David Alvey, a spokesperson for Hawaiian Falls.

Mother Amanda and her two kids, Avery and Aidan, attended the lesson on Thursday.

“Avery is 11 and Aidan is 12,” Amanda said. “They’re now taller and they can pretty much walk in just any foot other than the deep.”

According to the CDC, unintentional injuries, which includes drowning, is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4.

On average, 3,500 to 4,500 people die from drownings each year in the U.S.

So far, Texas has seen 26 drownings this year alone.

“In the summer more people are at the lakes and the pools, it’s important that the kids have a refresher even if they know how to swim,” Alvey said.

Drowning is a fast and silent death and can happen in as little as 20 to 60 seconds, and it’s something Amanda has seen firsthand at Hawaiian Falls.

“Since coming here I’ve seen several lifeguards saving people,” she said. “You’d think that when someone is drowning they’re just screaming and yelling. But it’s not.”

After the swim lesson, all of the families could stay at the park for a discounted admission price.

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