Organizations partner up to get children swimming lessons
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Memorial Day weekend means more people will be spending time at the pool and beach, in addition to those honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
While spending time in the water can be fun of course, it also comes with some dangers. There’s a push to help prevent drownings.
Charlie Hook is the owner of Pool Scouts of Hartford.
“It really is [a busy time of year],” Hook told Channel 3. “April-May is our big opening season. Get them all sparkly right off the bat.”
Hook said he’s opening pools and cleaning them as the unofficial start to summer gets underway.
“When we come to a pool, we make sure that everything is safe,” he said. “There are certain things we look for in the drainage system and plumbing and so on.”
There are many layers to pool safety.
May is National Water Safety Month, and each year in the United States, there’s an estimated 4,000 drownings.
“Most drownings happen during non-swim times,” said Kristin Mabrouk, executive director, Hope Floats Foundation. “So, they could be near a body of water. They could be visiting somewhere that has a pool.”
The Hope Floats Foundation is a non-profit group that focuses on drowning prevention and swimming lessons for children who might not otherwise be able to afford them.
“We really believe that all children regardless of their family’s current financial situation deserve access to high quality formal swimming lessons, which reduces the risk of drowning by 88-percent,” Mabrouk said.
Hope floats teamed up with Pool Scouts to help raise awareness about the importance of water safety, and how fast drowning can happen.
“It can be silent,” Mabrouk said. “So, in the amount of time it might take you to run inside and grab your phone, a child can drown. A child can go under in that time.”
“The number one thing we look for is supervision,” Hook said. “If there’s young ones, nothing replaces supervision.”
Hope Floats partners with swim schools around the country to provide scholarships.
Families in need that are interested can head here.
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