swimming kids

A water safety initiative to ensure a fun and healthy summer.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, alongside Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, and member organizations of the Miami-Dade Drowning Prevention Coalition, launched a new water safety initiative titled SPLASH.

The initiative – launched during Water Safety Month - offers a comprehensive approach to water safety, drowning prevention, swimming education, and water awareness. SPLASH stands for Safety, Prevention, Learn2Swim, Awareness, Saving Lives and H2O.

"As we enter the hot summer months, it’s more important than ever that everyone can be safe around the water, especially our children,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Swimming is a critical life-saving skill for everyone, and drownings are completely preventable if we are prepared and have the tools to avoid them. That’s why we are working quickly with our parks, first responders, and community partners to expand access to water safety and learn-to-swim lessons, as well as recruiting more lifeguards and swim instructors.

I am committed to this initiative to prevent drownings in our community this summer, because one drowning is too many."

Miami-Dade County’s Parks and Fire Rescue Departments have joined forces to deliver water safety resources to all residents, raising community awareness around the importance of teaching all kids to swim, by promoting education around drowning prevention and highlighting the many swim resources and training opportunities Miami-Dade County offers to the public.

These programs include swimming classes, water safety messaging, and other measures proven to reduce, prevent and ultimately, eliminate water-related injuries and deaths. A number of Learn2Swim scholarships are available at county pool locations.

“Today’s event is a collaboration of community safety advocates who share one goal: Making our children safer by reducing drownings and preventing aquatic injuries,” said Miami-Dade Parks’ Aquatic Region Manager Jim O’Connor, who also Chairs the Miami-Dade Drowning Prevention Coalition.

“Our Learn2Swim program is the largest public swimming education program in South Florida. With the support of the Coalition partners, we are restarting our campaign to convene public, private, and nonprofit swimming education programs around the common goal of providing swim lessons and making sure that every child in Miami-Dade County knows how to swim.”

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four nationwide, and the second leading cause of death for children in the ages between five to 14. Today’s call to action urges parents to enroll their children in available water safety and learn-to-swim programs, and to follow basic water safety best practices, to prevent these tragedies here in our community.

“For us as first responders we get to see first-hand the loss of life after a drowning,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Captain Keith Bell. “We hear the families cry and see the horror on their faces when these tragedies occur. We want to be part of the solution and we are here to spread the word in hopes to stop these accidents from happening.”

During the summer months the number of childhood deaths by drowning increases, compared to the rest of the year. Many of these incidents are preventable if residents are better informed about water safety and make swimming lessons a priority for their young ones.

For more information about resources and lessons available, visit http://miamidade.gov/splash.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.