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SatMay 20

National Learn to Swim Day – May 20, 2023

National Learn to Swim Day is observed on the third Saturday of May, annually, honoring the importance of passing down the life-saving skill of swimming to young children. It is celebrated a month before the ascent of summer in the United States — giving parents ample time to get their kids’ swimming lessons in order. Introduced in 2012 by SwimWays Corp, a recreational water product brand, the day is dedicated to educating people about the drowning crisis in America and the water safety measures that can prevent these deaths.

History of National Learn to Swim Day

Did you know that 50% of Americans do not know how to swim? Like learning how to ride a bike or basic cooking, swimming is also a life-saving skill — although it never gets its due. The consequences of undermining the relevance of learning how to swim can turn out to be disastrous. Think we are exaggerating? Well, drowning is the second biggest cause of accidental deaths in America.

There is absolutely no downside to learning how to swim. Whether it’s the summer dip in your nearby pool or rescuing a hapless being in the water — every child must have the opportunity to learn how to swim. Swimming is also a great exercise, and an hour-long swimming session makes up for an incredible athletic routine.

SwimWays Corp launched National Learn to Swim Day in 2012 to raise awareness about the vital importance of teaching children how to swim. In the following years, the event has grown tremendously and is now an important observation throughout the country. Brands come out with special discounts on swimming safety products, and swimming classes are promoted in communities. Through partnerships with corporations such as Target and Toys-R-Us, SwimWays Corp continues to propagate the importance of water safety amongst today’s generation.

National Learn to Swim Day raises awareness about the vitality of swimming lessons in young kids. As per the experts, the best time to learn how to swim is between the ages of six months to four years. Because, as we grow up, most people develop biases against large water bodies, which can make learning how to swim a near-impossible feat.

National Learn to Swim Day timeline

1920
The Rise of Public Pools

Public pools are opened to a majority of Americans, popularizing indoor swimming in the U.S.

1997
The Death of Jeff Buckley

Beloved American musician Buckley drowns, sending shock waves throughout the entire continent.

2012
Swimways’ Pledge

Swimways’ Corp launches National Learn to Swim Day to raise awareness about summertime water safety.

2014
The Red Cross Alert

The Red Cross launches an anti-drowning campaign in 50 cities across America to teach basic water safety skills to Americans.

National Learn to Swim Day FAQs

Can you learn to swim by yourself?

Yes! Adults can learn to swim by themselves by practicing the paddling of legs and stroking of arms at the shallow end of a monitored pool. However, the risks must be considered. 

What is the best age to start swimming lessons?

Age four is the best time to enroll your child in a swim class. Swimming requires a coordinated motion of arms, legs, and breath, and children at this age can learn the basic skill of treading water.  

How long does it take to learn to swim?

Children over the age of three can take 24 to 52 30-minute swim lessons to perfect their swimming skills. Adults with a neutral relationship with water can learn to swim within four to six weeks of continued training.

How to Observe National Learn to Swim Day

  1. Take swimming lessons

    Only half of America knows how to swim, which is an abysmal ratio considering the safe access to ponds, lakes, rivers, and public pools that almost everyone has. This National Learn to Swim Day, enroll yourself for swim lessons. If you already know how to swim, brush up your skills to prepare for an adventure-filled summer.

  2. Enroll a loved one

    Know someone in your life who wants to learn how to swim but can’t take the first step? Gift them a skill that will last a lifetime by enrolling them in a swim class. Trust us, every dip they take, they’ll remember your name.

  3. Host a pool party

    Get ahead of the summer schedule and host a pool party for your friends, family, and acquaintances. As the gathering assembles, give a lesson or two about water safety, pool behavior, and the importance of acquiring the skill of swimming. Whew! Sounds like an impactful party to me.

5 Important Facts About The Drowning Crisis

  1. It’s a global epidemic

    In 2019, over 236,000 drowning-related deaths were reported all around the world.

  2. Males and children drownings

    Children and adult men make up for the majority of drowning fatalities.

  3. Keep your toddlers safe

    The majority of drowning victims are children aged one to four years.

  4. A pain for the poor

    Nine out of 10 victims belong to low- and middle-income families with limited access to water safety resources.

  5. It’s a huge economic loss

    40% of drowning victims belong to the most economically active areas of the U.S., resulting in an annual loss of $273 million.

Why National Learn to Swim Day is Important

  1. It reveals the crisis

    More than 3,000 Americans lose their lives to drowning each year. It is an epidemic on its own that hardly gets the coverage it deserves. National Learn to Swim Day aims to reveal this crisis to the world and educate people about water safety measures.

  2. It raises awareness

    From taking precautions to administering first aid, the rules of water safety are finite but valuable. So before the summer swimming sessions kick in, we gather on the third Saturday of May to raise awareness about the importance of water safety in our community and beyond.

  3. It saves lives

    SwimWays believes in having fun — with precautions. The day is dedicated to illuminating how we can ensure public safety around water bodies. From life jackets, and float lines, to paddlers and compatible swimwear, there are tons of ways in which to secure our experience at the pool.

National Learn to Swim Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 21Saturday
2023May 20Saturday
2024May 18Saturday
2025May 17Saturday
2026May 16Saturday

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