Thousands flutter-kick their way to into the record books
Across the globe Tuesday, tens of thousands of kids across five continents splashed their way into the record books as a part of the world's largest swimming lesson.
The lesson marked the fourth consecutive Guinness World Record to help combat childhood drowning. The Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City was one of the 700 locations worldwide that hosted over 100 swimmers today.
A half-hour class on swimming and sun safety taught students how to float and flutter kick among other skills.
The lesson comes amidst the release of an alarming study by USA Swimming and the University of Memphis that shows less than half of all children surveyed said they could swim. Only 18% said they have taken a swimming lesson from a certified instructor.
African-American and Hispanic children were the least apt swimmers. 70% of African-Americans and 58% of Hispanics were considered to have low or no swim ability. This number is compared to 40% of Caucasians.
The study cites parental fear as a major contributor to a child's swimming ability.
The study did show money as a contributing factor as to why children aren't getting lessons, many parents said they wouldn't let their kids swim even if lessons were free. The study shows fear trumping money across all focus groups.
"The findings from this study reinforce the importance of raising awareness about learning to swim as a life-saving skill," said Chris LaBianco of the USA Swimming Foundation in a press release on the organizations website.