In the United States, “drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1–14 years,” according to the World Health Organization.
Being a child, male or a member of a minority group and lack of swimming ability are the major factors in drowning deaths. Whereas we strive to instruct our children to protect themselves via health classes, elaborate fire and perceived-threat drills, we provide insufficient education and practice to prevent this perfectly preventable tragedy.
[pullquote]To my knowledge, no one ever died from not playing football, tennis or hockey[/pullquote]Swimming is treated as a luxury whereas other sports are not. To my knowledge, no one ever died from not playing football, tennis or hockey, all very expensive sports in terms of training and facilities. The ability to swim, aside from saving lives, provides children with a refreshing and joyful activity and is a confidence builder. Many of us who have little prowess in sports thrive in the water.
Recently, I looked at the Santa Fe public pools’ schedules and saw a preference for lap swimmers. I am one, but I feel strongly that teens and children should have priority in the daytime. I found that Fort Marcy Recreation Complex is under construction (“Rec center work limits access,” June 12) and was directed to the Salvador Perez Recreation Complex pool, where I had the privilege of swimming in a full lane while all the children were confined to a corner of about 20 feet by 20 feet.
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