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Big Country kids take part in 'World's Largest Swimming Lesson,' raise awareness for swimming safety

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: Jun 18 2013 03:56:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 18 2013 07:21:13 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

It's a parent's worst nightmare - having their child drown.

Today, The Dive Spot opened its doors to host a swimming lesson, but also to beat a world record.

About 22 kids from the Big Country showed up to help break last year's record, but to also raise awareness for swimming safety.

"Little kids are coming for a swim lesson," said owner of The Dive Spot, J. Wilson. "All the lessons are exactly the same and we hope it's going to be a Guinness World Record. Last year, 24,000 kids showed up to do this," Wilson said.

It's about more than just breaking a record, though.

The number one cause of accidental death for children younger than five years old is drowning.

"We have figured out that if kids are in an organized, professionally-taught swim lesson, that statistic is reduced by 88 percent," Wilson said. "That's a pretty good number."

Parents say swim lessons make them feel more secure.

"If my daughter were ever, to say, to go somebody's house or to the park and fall in the lake, she'd be able to at least float and get herself over to the side or be there where somebody could help her," said Jeff Kissell, whose daughter, Heidi, has been taking swim lessons for three years.

Swim lessons also teach kids to look out for one another.

"It's important for him [her son] to know how to be safe and how to take care of himself and if he sees others being unsafe, maybe being able to help them, as well," said Heather Dodd.

In about two weeks, the kids will know if they helped to break the world record.

For more information on swimming lessons, click here