An instructor with children at the World’s Largest Swim Lesson event.

By Sara Battaglia

Understanding how to prevent drowning, the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of unintended injury related death for kids 4-14, is important to keeping children safe at every age. This is why local organization High 5 Inc. (formerly known as BSAC) again participated as a host site in the 13th annual World’s Largest Swim Lesson™, an international event created by the World Waterpark Association in 2010 to raise awareness about youth drowning prevention.

On June 23, hundreds of swim instructors in 14 countries and 42 states across the U.S. splashed into the start of summer with the event, teaching tens of thousands of kids vital water safety skills.

High 5 Inc. played its part by inviting both members and nonmembers from Brandon and the surrounding communities to participate.

CEO Chuck Burgess said, “In just 20 seconds, children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. So, even though pool time makes for the best summer playtime around, learning to swim is essential and potentially lifesaving for tots and toddlers as well their older brothers and sisters, and parents too.”

With volunteers and instructors leading the lesson, 225 children and adults learned basic swimming skills. During the hour-long World’s Largest Swim Lesson, children and adults learned how to enter the water safely, hold their breath and float on their back, as well as other water safety skills. Participants were invited to stay for open swim time after the lesson was over.

Since opening in 1963 and as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, High 5 Inc. has been a leader in drowning prevention through their ‘Learn to Swim’ program as well as other programs, including lifeguard training, CPR and first aid courses, competitive swimming and diving and more.

To learn more about its swimming programs and commitment to water safety, please visit or call 813-689-0908.

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