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Boys & Girls Club says swimming lessons save lives

HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WBRC) – School is almost out for the summer and the pools are open.

This is why the Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama urges parents to enroll their children in swimming lessons now.

The CDC has said drowning is the leading cause of death in children.

The Boys & Girls Club says giving your kids swimming lessons could save their lives. Their summer session starts in just two weeks.

Terry Marshall said it was the perfect time for children to learn to swim.

“The Boys and Girls Club has partnered with the Michael Phelps Initiative and it’s part of our mission to build healthy habits and learn to swim. So they’ll have these swimming lessons, how to float, how to backstroke, how to swim from one end of the pool to the other, and after that they can enjoy swimming every day here at the club.” , explained Marshall.

The CDC said just under 4,000 accidental drownings occur each year in the United States. That’s an average of 11 drowning deaths per day.

Black children are more likely to drown in public pools than white children, which is why the Boys & Girls Club takes a proactive approach to helping children navigate the water.

“We had a young lady here a few summers ago, she learned to swim here at the club and maybe after about a week after her swimming lessons were over, she went to a birthday party and her young cousin was drowning in their pool and because she took her swimming lessons here she was able to jump in the pool and save a family member,” Marshall said.

Marshall said learning to swim isn’t just about safety.

It also opens the doors to a variety of other activities that kids may never have tried.

“If you know how to swim, it will open you up to many different activities like rafting or surfing. These are activities that a lot of African American kids don’t do, maybe because of where they live, or because they don’t go to the beach much. And so, it’s a lot of fun and it will open up more things and experiences for them,” Marshall said.

The summer session at the Boys & Girls Club begins on June 1.

For more information on the summer program, visit www.bgcca.org.

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