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Learn-to-swim programs are not only a safety investment, but also a community growth opportunity. See how these swim lessons can benefit you.

Studies show when associations create opportunities to give back to communities, their members are inspired to engage and act. For the pool and hot tub industry, the desire to prevent unintentional drownings is an essential component of the industry’s mission. And one of the key elements in the reduction of fatal and non-fatal drowning is learning to swim.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death of children one to four years of age and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning among children by 88 percent. In fact, children who learn to swim by age five will be capable swimmers for life. And adults who received swim lessons as a child are twice as likely to buy or build a home with a pool, swim for fitness and become advocates for water-oriented projects within their community or local municipalities.

Learning to swim means much more than learning strokes; it is learning water survival skills, water safety and developing comfort in the water. By investing in the next generation of swimmers through learn-to-swim programming, community recreation centers can instill confidence, empower long-term participation in water activities, tout the positive benefits of water play and advocate for safe practices.

Swimming is a life-long skill that often leads to fun water-based activities like boating, snorkeling, diving and fishing. And the ability to swim leads to sports opportunities such as swim team, water polo, diving and can even lead to college scholarships. Additionally, competent swimmers are eligible for jobs such as lifeguard, swim instructor, swim coach, pool facility director and pool operator.

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Janay Rickwalder

Janay Rickwalder is the vice president of marketing and communications for PHTA. For more information, email jrickwalder@phta.org.

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