Swimming is a life skill many of us take for granted, however, research has shown that an astounding 54% of American and 20% of adults in the UK cannot swim well enough to be able to save themselves in the event of an emergency.
When was the last time you went for a swim? According to the survey, 43% of British people have not been swimming for over a year! In addition to this, only 27% of Brits swim regularly. Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury or death worldwide, with an estimated 359,000 deaths each year. We really should start to take swimming seriously, starting with adequate lessons for children. Only 1 in 5 children in the US are likely to take swimming lessons, yet an estimated 5,000 children aged 14 and under are hospitalized due to accidental drowning-related incidents each year.
In the US there is a distinct ethnic-based skills gap: 70% of African-American children and 58% of Hispanic children have little or no swimming ability, compared with 40% of Caucasian children. Why is this?
Some believe it is the cost of swimming lessons, access to pools and parent’s own lack of swimming skills that prevent certain groups from learning to swim. Terrifyingly, the study reveals that 1 in 2 parents do not believe that their child would be able to swim to safety if they were to get into danger in the water. Something needs to be done!
Swimshop.co.uk have produced this infographic to start to spread awareness about the importance of teaching children and adults how to swim.
Source: Sink or Swim blog post