AOAP is a Proud Supporter of the 14th Annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ to Help Prevent Childhood Drowning

Proud Supporter of WLSL

SAVE THE DATE! – Thursday, June 22, 2023

AOAP is a Proud Supporter of the 14th Annual

World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ to Help Prevent Childhood Drowning



The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) serves as a crucial platform to help the aquatics industry fight the leading cause of childhood death for kids ages 1-4 by building awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim and parental supervision around water.


The WLSL event will take place over the course of 24 hours at host locations all over the world on Thursday, June 22, 2023.


Local WLSL events take place at hundreds of locations over the course of 24 hours. Since its inception, aquatic facilities in 51 countries across 6 continents have participated in the WLSL.


Drowning is fast, silent and preventable. The WLSL program works to raise awareness of the risks involved with water, the critical importance of teaching young children water safety and swimming skills and the crucial need for guardian vigilance at all times when supervising children in and around water. AOAP is joining TEAM WLSL™ in their mission to spread the message Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ to millions of kids and adults to help prevent drowning.

About The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™

Since 2010, more than 354,000 children and adults have participated in lifesaving WLSL lessons, generating more than 2.5 billion media impressions about the vital importance of learning to swim. Learn more about this phenomenal program by visiting [INSERT NAME OF HOST FACILITY Website] or


  • The problem is real: Per the CDC, more children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death, for children ages 5-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes. For every child under age 18 who dies from drowning, another 7 receive emergency department care for nonfatal drowning. Drowning is an even greater threat in other countries around the world. According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
  • Swimming lessons make a difference: Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children age 1-4 by up to 88%.
  • Many lack basic swimming skills: According to a 2020 research study by the American Red Cross, more than half (54%) of kids ages 4-17 cannot perform the basic water safety skills they need to save their life.
  • Parental supervision is key: According to a 2016 Safe Kids Worldwide report, despite the fact that lack of supervision played a role in the majority of drowning deaths, less than half of parents (49 percent) indicate they remain within arms’ reach of their child in the water.
  • Some people have a higher risk of drowning: According to the CDC, Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.  Many factors might contribute to higher rates of drowning among males, including increased exposure to water, risk-taking behaviors, and alcohol use. In addition, drowning death rates for American Indian or Alaska Native people ages 29 and younger are 2 times higher than the rates for White people. Drowning death rates for Black people are 1.5 times higher than the rates for White people. Disparities are highest among Black children ages 5-9 (rates 2.6 times higher) and ages 10-14 (rates 3.6 times higher).
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Juliene Hefter

Juliene is the Executive Director/CEO of AOAP. She has a background in running and operating diverse aquatic facilities and venues and is a national and international speaker on a variety of topics. She is also an expert witness/consultant.

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