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Changes to swimming lessons during pandemic

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 10:30 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

According to the Florida Department of Health, the state leads the nation in drowning deaths of children aged 1 to 4.

Swim instructors at Frank Brown Park’s Aquatic Center in Panama City Beach say proper lessons could save a life.

“It has been demonstrated repeatedly that formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent,” said aquatic supervisor Marydale Moore.

But during the pandemic, swimming lessons at the park will look a little different in an effort to social distance.

“The kids coming for swim lessons have a completely dedicated entry and exit,” said Moore. “They are roped off from everyone else so we are keeping them separated and somewhat isolated from everyone else here.”

Officials say they will also spread out classes and offer smaller class sizes. They say the weekly schedule will also change.

“Classes are three times a week this year. So you’ll sign up for six weeks of classes but get 18 swimming lessons, which is enormous,” Moore added. “That can change the whole parameter of a child of what they know how to do and what their skills are.”

Lessons will run from June 29th to August 7th and officials say if any parents are hesitant, they offer some lessons from a distance as well.

“There’s going to be some parents that choose to wait and that’s okay too. We’re talking them through things they can do at home,” said Moore.

To sign up for swim classes at Frank Brown Park click here.

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