Today, Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones will be in New Orleans with the USA Swimming Foundation and ConocoPhillips as part of its Make A Splash tour, aimed at raising awareness for water safety and the importance of teaching kids to swim. Cullen Jones, the first African-American to hold a world record in swimming, will lead a youth rally at Schaumburg Elementary School where he’ll share his personal story about nearly drowning at a water park at age five, and the impact the sport of swimming has had on his life, including his Olympic journey. During the rally, the USA Swimming Foundation and ConocoPhillips will also present a $5,000 grant to local swim lesson providers in New Orleans to provide 100 children with free, life-saving swim lessons. After the event Cullen Jones will be teaching semi-private swim lessons to a some lucky Nola kids!
According the the USA Swimming Foundation (2011),
here are some tips for Keeping Children Safe in and around the water:
- Teach children to swim. It’s the best way to be safer in the water. Research shows that parents are the most influential factors in whether or not a child learns to swim. Only 13 percent of children from non-swimming households will ever learn to swim, according to national research conducted by the University of Memphis for USA Swimming.
- Make sure a responsible adult is watching the water at all times. Drowning can be completely silent, and most child drownings occur when the victim has been out of sight for less than five minutes.
- Remind kids to always obey the rules of the pool, not to jump on or dunk other swimmers, and not to jump or dive unless they know how deep the water is.
- Require kids to always swim with a buddy.
- Remember, you don’t have to be at a pool to drown. Lakes, rivers, large puddles and any other bodies of water also require caution. Make sure your child knows how to swim, whether or not they’ll be around a pool this summer.
As the temperatures here in NOLA continue to rise,
I hope everyone has fun in the water and most importantly stays safe!
Thank you to Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones for giving the children of New Orleans a memory they will never forget!