Submitted by Child Care Action Council

On June 21, 150 children will participate in the World’s Largest Swim Lesson at The Evergreen State College pool to raise awareness that Swimming Lessons Save Lives. The local event, coordinated by Safe Kids Thurston County along with support from Molina Healthcare, joins an estimated 600 other locations in more than 20 countries, all participating in the same swim lesson and learning the vital importance of learning to swim. Register today at ccacwa.org for this free swim lesson.

Tragically, in the U.S. drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury related death for children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. Between 2007 and 2016, 59 people died from drowning in Thurston County. And drowning has been the leading cause of unintentional death for children age 1 to 14 in Thurston County for over a decade.  Numbers have jumped in the last couple of years, with 2015 and 2016 drownings accounting for 38% of these deaths alone. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.

Our unique close proximity to so much open water and children’s natural curiosity to be drawn to water both are reasons to provide simple life savings devices at the water’s edge for families recreating in our public waterways. Safe Kids Thurston County is committed to preventing these injury deaths and partners with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), City, County, and State Parks, and local police and fire departments to provide life jackets for families and individuals recreating on our open waters. The Life Jacket Loaner Cabinet Program has over 14 locations and is one of the largest Life Jacket Loaner Cabinet programs in the state. To check out the listing of all our Life Jacket Loaner Cabinets, click here: https://www.safekidsthurstoncounty.org/water-safety.html

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