There’s no surprise in learning that an organization called the National Swimming Pool Foundation is in favor of, well, swimming.
Even so, the foundation’s suggestion that youngsters need strong swimming instruction is especially timely as another vacation season begins.
The foundation has launched a campaign in conjunction with nine other organizations that teach children and adults to swim. The need is especially strong in minority communities where swimming skills for youngsters tend to lag.
That can be a big safety hazard when nonswimmers or poorly skilled swimmers literally get in over their heads in the water. Each summer typically brings news reports of drowning deaths, and many of these fatalities are children.
According to the foundation, about half of Americans are afraid of deep water or cannot swim. An inability to swim also limits access to aquatic exercise, which is a great benefit to health.
We hope that local organizations, in partnership with public institutions such as the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission, will be able to teach more youngsters to swim in our area.
Swimming is one of summer’s great pleasures. But the ability to swim can also be a matter of life or death.