posted on May 03, 2017
What Motivates Team WLSL™
The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is a promotional event designed to build awareness and generate local and national press attention about the vital importance of teaching kids to swim to help prevent drowning. What's exciting about the WLSL event is that so many organizations and individual aquatic facilities are coming together to make it happen. The WLSL event helps capture the passion we have for this critical issue as individuals and focuses all that energy on one message for one day.
We are celebrating our eighth year of this worldwide event. This year's event on June 20th is a great way to kick off the official start of summer in North America, a time when many head out to enjoy water recreational activities as a way to cool off during the hotter summer months. Of course, being safe in and around the water requires more than just swimming lessons. But, learning to swim and the exposure to the water safety skills and messages that swimmings lesson offers provides a lifelong foundation for drowning prevention.
This year TEAM WLSL™ will be setting its sights on a new goal -- reaching more than one billion with the message Swimming Lesson Save Lives™ by 2019. Local WLSL events will take place at hundreds of locations in more than 20 countries on five continents over the course of 24 hours.
By joining our voices together, members of TEAM WLSL™ believe that we can make a positive difference in the lives of children and adults around the world and drive home the message that learning to swim is as important to general safety as wearing a helmet when riding a bike or wearing a seat belt when riding in a car.
WLSL Key Message Points
- Research shows risk of drowning can be reduced by 88% if children participate in formal swimming lessons between ages 1-4. Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2009
- The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ brings together tens of thousands of individuals from hundreds of communities around the globe who all participate in the same lesson over the course of a 24 hour period to raise awareness about drowning and the fact that swimming is a vital life-saving skill that every child should learn.
- The results from the 2016 WLSL event were amazing. Last year, more than 40,000 kids and adults participated in WLSL events in 24 countries generating more than 200 million media impressions. Aquatic facilities, from Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Galveston, Texas to swim schools in India, to locations in Jamaica, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, the UAE and South Korea, all taught the same swimming lesson with one goal in mind — send the message Swimming Lesson Save Lives™.
- Internationally, the World Health Organization estimates drowning is one of the top five causes of death for people ages 1-14 in 48 of the 85 countries it monitors around the globe. Swimming is a vital life-saving skill. Drowning is preventable!
What Parents Need To Know
- Drowning is silent and can happen in seconds.
- Enroll your kids in swimming lessons; learning to swim is the strongest defense against drowning.
- Never leave kids alone in or around water, not even for a second. Put the cell phone away and give young children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- There is always risk associated with being in, on and around the water. But, loss of life from drowning CAN and SHOULD be prevented and we have the power to make that happen.
- Being safe in and around the water requires more than just swimming lessons. It requires constant, careful supervision of children, appropriate fencing and safety equipment, protection from hazards, knowing what to do in an emergency, including CPR, and an understanding that safety is a personal responsibility.
- Learning to swim and the exposure to the water safety skills and messages that swimming lessons offer provide a lifelong foundation for drowning prevention.
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