In an effort to keep young children safe in the water, the Board of Collier County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a 20 percent discount for all Collier County children ages 5 and under for Level 1 swim lessons at county aquatic locations.
Deaths from drowning for children age 5 or younger in Florida are more than double the national average and are higher than any other state in the nation, according to the Florida Department of Health. More than two-thirds of those deaths occurred in swimming pools. Drowning is the leading cause of death of children ages 1 to 4 in Collier County, according to the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Collier County offers Level 1 swim lessons at a cost of $40 for eight classes. During class, an instructor helps orient the young child and his or her parent or adult partner to the water and prepares the child to learn to swim.
The discount, which will amount to $8, is good for lessons that begin during the period between May 15 and Aug. 31.
Collier County offers swimming lessons at three locations: Sun-n-Fun Lagoon, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, Florida 34109; the Golden Gate Aquatic Complex, 3300 Santa Barbara Blvd., Naples, Florida 34116; and the Immokalee Sports Complex, 505 Escambia St., Naples, Florida 34142.
The county is partnering with the NCH Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition, which recently launched a campaign to prevent drowning. The county’s swim lesson discount will be included in Water Smart Kids prescription booklets, which are presented to families through pediatricians and family practitioners at well child checkups between 9 months and 5 years of age.
“I am so pleased that my fellow commissioners saw the importance of giving this discount to families so young children could learn to swim,” said Commissioner Donna Fiala. “We want to make sure these children have fun this summer, but that they also have the swimming skills they need to stay safe.”
For more information or to register, call the Collier County Parks and Recreation Department at (239) 252-4000 or visit www.collierparks.com.