Supervisor Desmond on San Diego County’s $250,000 grant to expand water safety programs

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – How do you save hundred of children’s lives at the pool and beach?

By teaching kids how to swim through a San Diego Board of Supervisors grant presented by Jim Desmond and Nora Vargas that gives $250,000 to the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego that will educate parents, give swim lessons, and teach drowning prevention skills at the pool and beach.

Drowning kills more children 1-4 years of age than anything else except birth defects.

In California, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children under the age of five. But formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.

Children’s accessibility to water in San Diego County is high, with 70 miles of coastline, 20 freshwater lakes, 7,466 public permitted bodies of water such as apartment complex swimming pools and many backyard pools. In 2018, there were 47 drowning deaths, 55 hospitalizations for non-fatal drownings and 87 emergency department discharges for non-fatal drownings in San Diego County. Additionally, in 2019, 100 fatal and non-fatal drownings were reported by Rady Children’s Hospital alone.

With summer approaching, it is important for parents to remember some basic tips on how to prevent any tragic disasters.

The Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego believes drowning is preventable and it is their vision to teach every child in San Diego how to swim. Since 2009, their purpose has been simple; they do everything they can to prevent drowning and save lives of children by targeting under-served communities that need swim lessons and water and ocean safety education.

KUSI’s Jason Austell spoke with Supervisor Desmond about what the grant will bring and the importance of water safety on Good Morning San Diego.

Categories: Local San Diego News