Olympian Rowdy Gaines Advocates for Swim Safety to Prevent Drowning This Summer

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Drowning is preventable and yet, it happens every day. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 in the U.S.1 As the risk for drowning increases during swim season, Step Into Swim, a non-profit initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), is empowering families to practice proper swim safety.

“It’s heartbreaking to learn about families who have lost a child to drowning. Their pain is preventable,” said Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice President of Partnerships and Development at PHTA who leads Step Into Swim. “For parents looking to protect their child in the water, swim lessons are a necessary and lifesaving tool that instill confidence and allow them to thrive.”

Step Into Swim recommends prioritizing these drowning prevention tips:

  • Swim Lessons: Formal swim lessons from a qualified instructor can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1 – 42 and provide essential skills, like floating on your back.
  • Undistracted Adult Supervision: Drowning can happen in as little as 30 seconds, making it critical for designated water watchers to keep a close eye on children.
  • Layers of Protection: Enact multiple layers of protection, including life jackets, pool covers, fencing, locked doors and safety alarms.

Thanks to donors, Step into Swim distributes grants to learn-to-swim programs to provide free and reduced-cost swim lessons to children in underserved communities. To support Step Into Swim’s lifesaving mission, make a donation at https://www.stepintoswim.org/get-involved/donate/.

For more information, visit www.StepIntoSwim.org.

About Step Into Swim:

Step Into Swim is an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention. By investing in the next generation of swimmers through learn-to-swim programming, the Step Into Swim initiative instills confidence, empowers long-term participation in water activities, touts the positive benefits of water play, and advocates for safe practices. Since its inception in 2012, Step Into Swim has played a role in reducing drowning fatalities and has gifted swim lessons to more than 330,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members, and more. For more information, visit www.stepintoswim.org.

Brianna Greco
Vault Communications, Inc.
[email protected]
(610) 329-0442 

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Drowning Facts.
2 Brenner, R. A., et al. (2009). Association Between Swimming Lessons and Drowning in Childhood. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

SOURCE Pool & Hot Tub Alliance

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/olympian-rowdy-gaines-advocates-for-swim-safety-to-prevent-drowning-this-summer-302187607.html
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