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New "Every Lesson Counts" campaign wants to count each swim lesson taught and reach 1 million by May 2018

MIAMI (April 27, 2017)

May is National Water Safety Month. In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities, the month brings attention to best practices for being safe in and around the water.

In Miami-Dade County and Florida, drowning is the number one cause of death of children under age five. Swimming experts, such as the American Red Cross, advocate water safety education and swimming lessons, as one of the best way to prevent drowning incidents.

To help spread awareness of water safety and the urgency of learning to swim to children and their families, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department together with Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade Drowning Prevention Coalition (DPC) and its partnering municipalities, schools, non-profit and private learn-to-swim providers county-wide, are joining forces to get Miami-Dade youth water-ready. 

May 2017 kicks-off the “Every Lesson Counts” lean-to-swim water safety campaign in Miami-Dade County, with the goal of teaching and ‘counting’ one million swim lessons annually in the County. The campaign brings together county-wide resources for swim lessons and highlights the importance that every child learns to swim.

On May 20, from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., Miami-Dade Parks will join DPC and the Trauma Services Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in hosting the ninth annual “Summer Safety Splash” at West Perrine Park Aquatic Center, 10355 SW 172 St., Miami. Held in partnership with the Trauma Services Department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the free event provides parents and children with resources on swimming lessons, water and child safety and much more.  DPC selected the location for this year’s event as the West Perrine Aquatic Center is located in the zip code which had the County’s highest number of Fatal and Non-Fatal drownings for the 1-4 year old age group.  For additional information about the West Perrine Park Aquatic Center, call 305-969-3886 or visit the web page.

Help your child be safer at the beach and the pool this summer. Enroll them in Miami-Dade Learn-to-Swim classes, offered at all Miami-Dade County public pools and taught by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors.  Learn-to-Swim classes include Parent and Tot (Ages 2-3), Preschool Aquatics (Ages 4-5), Levels 1-6 (Ages 6-18), and Adults.  For more information or to register, contact your desired pool site from the list on the Miami-Dade Parks Learn-to-Swim web page.

On average, Miami-Dade Parks registers approximately 12,000 patrons for its Learn-to-Swim program each year.

The Miami-Dade DPC, housed under the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, provides a centralized resource for the coordination of information and programs related to water safety awareness, education and advocacy to reduce drowning, non-fatal drowning, and other water related injuries in Miami-Dade.

The non-profit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade provides scholarships for free swimming lessons to children. For more information or to donate, visit the web page.

For more information about the Every Swim Lesson Counts learn-to-swim lessons and water safety campaign and partner events, visit the DCP web page.

About Miami-Dade Parks
Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 270 parks and 13,573 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness and Conservation and Stewardship. The non-profit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade supports Miami-Dade Parks’ efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.