With summer here, spending time at the pool or at the beach is a big part of the Southern California lifestyle. For that reason, now is an important time to strengthen water safety in our community – especially among underserved children who often lack access to swim lessons.
Today, SDG&E in partnership with Prevent Drowning Foundation (PDF) of San Diego and San Diego City Councilmember Vivian Moreno kicked off a swimming program for underserved kids called “Water Proofing San Diego” at the Barrio Station Pool.
The program has three elements: aquatic safety education in classrooms across San Diego, free swimming lessons and a day at the beach where children learn about rip current and other dangers from life guards.
This year, more than 1,000 inner-city youth will have the opportunity to learn how to swim. They will enjoy activities spanning over a five-week period. Since the beginning of the program, more than 10,000 youth have participated.
According to “Buc” Buchanan, president of the Prevent Drowning Foundation, “No child is ever water safe. The goal of swim lessons is to make children safer in, on and around the water. We need to do more to provide this life skill opportunity to all children in San Diego County.”
The Statistics that We Want to Avoid
Did you know among children ages 1-14, drowning is the leading cause of injury or death?
According to the Prevent Drowning Foundation, 79 percent of underserved children have little-to-no swimming ability. Studies have shown that formal swimming lessons reduces the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88 percent.
About the Prevent Drowning Foundation
The mission of the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego is to save lives by funding swim lessons for underserved youth and providing aquatic safety education for all.
Since the launch of our SAFE San Diego giving Initiative, SDG&E has provided more than $100,000 in grants to support Water Proofing San Diego.