World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ Set For Thursday, June 23rd

Host Location Registration Now Open
[Overland Park, KS] – Registration for the 13th Annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ is
officially open. Aquatic facilities of all types can sign up to be a drowning prevention champion
in their community by joining TEAM WLSLTM as an official Host for this impactful and fun
lifesaving event. The 30-minute swim lesson can take place any time of day during the 24-hour
event on Thursday, June 23rd . Locations with regular lessons taking place are encouraged to
host throughout the day.

With the support of thousands of locations around the globe, TEAM WLSLTM has helped raise
awareness and provided crucial education about water safety and water competency since the
program launched in 2010. According to research conducted by the American Red Cross, water
competency skills have increased significantly since 2014, jumping from 46% to 56% of people
possessing key, lifesaving water competency skills in 2020. Overall, drowning deaths worldwide
and in the U.S. have decreased over the past two decades. According to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of unintentional
drowning deaths among children ages 0-17 declined 38%, from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.0
in 2019.

But, there is a long way to go. Research released by the American Academy of Pediatrics in
2021 shows drowning has become the leading cause of unintended death for children ages 1-4,
ahead of car accidents, birth defects and cancer. And, drowning remains the second leading
cause of unintended death for kids 4-14 and the third for adolescents ages 15-17. The issue is
truly a matter of life and death for kids and families in every community around the world.
Local WLSL Host Locations make a difference by providing kids, parents and caregivers exposure
to lifesaving water safety skills while building buzz and awareness about the importance of
teaching children to swim and providing undistracted adult supervision to help prevent

Visit to register as a Host Location.
About The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™
Since its inception, more than 332,000 children and adults have participated in lifesaving WLSL
lessons, generating more than two billion media impressions about the vital importance of
learning to swim. Learn more about this phenomenal program by visiting

• The problem is real: According to the CDC, every year (from 2010-2019) in the United
States there are an estimated 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings, including boatingrelated drowning—that is an average of 11 drowning deaths per day. Drowning is an even
greater threat in other countries around the world. According to the World Health
Organization, an estimated 236,000 people died from drowning in 2019, making drowning
a major public health problem worldwide.
• 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.
• Males and people of color are at the most risk: According to the CDC, nearly 80% of
people who die from drowning are male. In addition, 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)

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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