HCSO, kids team up for swimming lessons

Published On: Jun 18 2013 08:14:36 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 18 2013 03:33:57 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

Thousands of people around the globe took part in the world's largest swimming lesson in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record.

The purpose was to help create awareness about the importance of learning how to swim to prevent drowning.

Tuesday morning, dozens of children were in the pool at the Houston Scuba Academy learning how to swim.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office knows about the importance of water safety and wants to spread the word to every resident.

“Drowning can occur very quickly,” said Maj. Debra Schmidt, with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office dive team. “It truly is a tragedy. It's preventable.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning among children ages 1-14 is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind car crashes.

Research also shows that if a child doesn't learn to swim by the third grade, he or she likely never will.

Officials say even the slightest distraction from your child can have devastating results.

“This is our effort to encourage safe swimming and to make sure summer is a happy and safe time,” said Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.

The sheriff’s department believes that every child who learns how to swim will be one less person that will have to be rescued.