New National Study Confirms Swim Lessons for Young Children Can Protect Against Drowning

Date:  Mar 11-2009

Tustin-based Swim for Life Foundation, Academy Swim Club
 Support National Institute of Health Study
[TUSTIN, CALIFORNIA – March 10, 2009]  Tustin-based Swim for Life Foundation  pledges support for research that was recently announced by the National Institute of Health. The study concludes that participation in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in children between the ages of 1 to 4 (Arch Pediatric Med. 2009; 163(3):203-210), which demonstrates that providing young children with swimming lessons has a protective effect against drowning. 
“We are delighted by the research because it conveys a message to our families that swim lessons are not only a valuable learning and healthy activity, but also a confirmed layer of protection against drowning accidents,” said Johnny Johnson, founder and president of the Swim for Life Foundation. “If you want to take the next step in making your children safer around water, expose them to swimming lessons to foster skills that last a lifetime.” Johnson is also the current president of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, an organization which combines the efforts of individuals, corporations and policymakers to reduce the incidence of drowning.
The research, completed under the direction of Duane Alexander, M.D., director at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, should ease concerns that swim lessons may lead to parental inattention. The study contradicts a previous statement made by the American Academy of Pediatrics and supports the viewpoints of the Swim for Life Foundation and the US Swim School Association members. Swimming lessons are considered an appropriate part of  a comprehensive drowning prevention strategy that should also include pool fencing, adult supervision and CPR training. The findings appear in the March Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Health. For the full press release from the National Institute of Health, please visit http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/030209-Drowning-Risk.cfm.
“Many of us in the learn-to-swim world have believed for years that lessons impact a child’s behavior and are a factor in drowning prevention,” said Johnson. “We encourage parents to be involved and educated about the risks and rewards of swim lessons, which are one part of the multiple strategies of prevention as promoted by the Swim for Life Foundation’s Safer 3 Drowning Prevention Program: Safer Water (barriers with gates that lock), Safer Kids (parental supervision and swimming instruction and Safer Response (knowledge of CPR).”
About the Swim for Life Foundation
The mission of the Swim for Life Foundation (a 501(c)(3) organization) is to enrich the lives of all people by promoting the lifelong benefits of swimming, implementing proactive drowning prevention programs and increasing the accessibility of programs for those with special needs, whether the challenge is disability, age, or finance-related. 
About the National Drowning Prevention Alliance

The NDPA was formed in 2004 to maximize efforts to prevent drowning through the development and implementation of strategies to facilitate and improve education, public awareness, effective barrier codes, and greater utilization of layers of protection. This national organization is comprised of individuals, organizations, government agencies, policymakers and corporations who have the common goal of saving lives. As a united entity, the NDPA looks to proven programs and strategies to gain maximum value from their efforts. Affiliated members and programs share “the best of the best” with other members so that successful efforts can be replicated nationwide, with a goal of reducing drowning in swimming pools, open bodies of water and household products such as tubs and buckets.