Safety Awareness Heightened for Swimming


Monday, May 25th 2009, 6:47 pm
By: News 9


By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and is when the time comes to hit the lakes and pools.

And, it's so important to take extra steps to prevent tragic accidents.

This is the perfect time to teach kids about safety in the water and, now, many kids have a better understanding of what they can do to protect their lives in the water.

By combining a little show and tell and some humor, 1,500 third and fourth-graders got a lesson in safety.

"There's too many people with backyard pools and too many students in the elementary age that can't swim and we need to save their life," Linda Pelton with Andrew Johnson Elementary School said.

It's called the Wacky Water Wahoo at White Water Bay and the children really hear the message loud and clear.

Instructors teach them about life jackets, swimming and why they should listen to lifeguards by stressing this motto, "Be cool. Follow the rules."

This isn't just about the little swimmers, there's also something parents can learn. The Safe Kids Coalition can't stress enough, the importance of active supervision and constantly paying attention.

"Drowning is 100 percent preventable," Christy Cornforth with the Safe Kids Coalition of Oklahoma said. "It is the second leading cause of unintentional fatalities to children."

In 2007, 27 children under age 17 died from drowning in Oklahoma. The goal is to prevent even one death this year. If all kids hear about what these have to say that might just happen.

When they say, ‘don't pack it, wear your jacket', they're talking about life jackets. An essential reminder, especially since so many young kids don't know how to swim.

Learn more about water safety.