Drowning Prevention through Water Safety Instruction

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ brings together thousands of people from around the globe who want to contribute to saving lives by teaching children how to be safer in and around the water.

This annual global event builds awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim as a vital tool to prevent drowning. TEAM WLSL® holds five Guinness World Records™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson conducted at multiple venues, including the current official record, set in 2014 with 36,564 participants in 22 countries.

The critical message TEAM WLSL® wants to spread worldwide is:

“Learning to swim is the strongest defense against drowning.”

Swim Lessons are a Necessity, Not a Luxury

Learning to swim is as important as wearing a seat belt in a car or a bike helmet when on a bike. Swimming lessons should not be considered a luxury but a necessity. Swimming and swim safety are vital life-saving skills that every child should learn as early in life as possible.

Aquatics businesses and professionals can register to conduct the easy, beginner 30-minute lesson any time on June 17, 2021, during the 24-hour event and join TEAM WLSL® in their mission to prevent childhood drowning through education. 

More than half (54%) of U.S. children ages four to 17 cannot perform the basic water safety skills that can save their lives, according to a research study completed by the American Red Cross in 2020.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ provides kids, parents, and caregivers exposure to life-saving water safety skills and increases awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim and providing undistracted adult supervision to help prevent drowning.

Water Safety Skills Critical During Lifeguard Shortage

The risk of drowning can be dramatically reduced by 88 percent when children ages one to four participate in formal swimming lessons, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The standardized lesson curriculum used in professional instruction ensures that all the essential safety skills are taught, and in-person assessments ensure that each swim lesson participant has mastered those skills.

A lesser-known fact is that for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal but critical submersion injuries. In addition, 25 percent of minors (under the age of 20) who are treated in the ER and survive a drowning event are hospitalized or transferred for further medical care.

For numerous reasons, many related to the Covid-19 pandemic, there continues to be a lifeguard shortage in 2021. It’s urgent for parents and caregivers to learn critical water safety skills. Anyone interested in working at an aquatic facility should get their water safety or lifeguard certification as soon as possible. 

Attentive, Trained Caregivers Can Save Lives

TEAM WLSL® and their partner organizations, The American Red Cross, Lifeguards without Borders, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and many other established organizations in aquatics and swim safety, want to remind caregivers to:

“Put the cell phone away when around the water.”

Drowning is silent. It can happen in seconds. Children deserve 100 percent of your attention when they are near water. Young lives are depending on it.

Where to Learn More About Water Safety 

If you, your family members, or employees need swim instruction this summer, look for a certified swim instruction professional with current WSI or Lifeguard credentials. You can also take Red Cross-approved water safety courses yourself. This small investment in time and money can give you peace of mind and even save a life.


Contact us to learn more about how to get an instructor, water safety, or lifeguard certification. Knowing how to prevent drowning makes it possible for others to enjoy water activities safely and reduces the incidence of accidental drownings. We offer certification for individuals and company safety compliance programs.



American Red Cross

World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™