ST. PETERSBURG, FL — If your child doesn’t know how to swim, swimming lessons to help keep your kid safe around water for the summer will be offered at a variety of public pools in St. Petersburg.
According to the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF), 98 children drowned by accident in Florida in 2021—a 30 percent increase, and the most child drownings in the last 12 years. In the drowning reports provided by DCF, many of them said that a child had wandered to a nearby pool without the parents knowing, and then drowned.
On July 14, 2021, a 7-year-old boy was pronounced dead by medical staff three days after he was found unresponsive in a resort swimming pool in St. Petersburg. According to the report, the child left the hotel room while his mother was taking a shower. He drowned in the pool shortly after he left the room, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
DCF said more children in Florida under the age of five died from drowning in 2021 than in any other state, according to WINK.
“Parents have to really double down on supervision at this time,” Michael Haggard, managing partner of the Haggard Law Firm told WINK. “Or if you’re just a guardian that has a child with you, you’ve got to make sure that when they are near, around the water that you are away from your phone, that you are being vigilant watching your children.”
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance said when kids take swimming lessons, it helps reduce the risk of drowning.
If Your Child Does Not Know How To Swim, Lessons Are Available At The Pools Listed Below
According to the St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation website, summer swim lessons are available to all levels and ages 6 months and older are welcome. It costs $39 full price per session. Scholarships and fee assistance are available for qualifying families.
In-Person Registration Only For Sessions 1, May 31 – June 9
- Registration is available at all recreation centers and the following pools: Northwest Pool, Walter Fuller Pool, E.H. McLin Pool, and North Shore Aquatic Complex.
Online Registration Is Available For The Following Sessions:
- Session 2: June 13-23
- Registration begins June 9 at 8 a.m.
- Session 3: June 27 – July 7*
- *No classes on July 4.
- Registration begins June 23 at 8 a.m.
- Session 4: July 11-21
- Registration begins July 7 at 8 a.m.
- Session 5: July 25 – August 4
- Registration begins July 21 at 8 a.m.
Click here to register online. For more details, visit St. Petersburg Parks & Registration. For more drowning prevention tips, visit National Drowning Prevention Alliance.