Young valley swimmers take part in breaking world record

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 19 at 3:55 PM

PHOENIX -- Young valley swimmers donned suits and goggles Tuesday to try to break a world swimming record. Children and adults at hundreds of aquatic facilities around the world united for the fourth year in a row to set a new Guinness World Record for the ‘World's Largest Swimming Lesson’.

The event was established in 2010 to raise awareness about drowning prevention.

Dozens of kids hit the water at Swim Kids USA at Guadalupe and the 101. Other valley locations also took part. Last year, 25,000 people participated in the event. This year, the goal was 30,000 participants. 

Young swimmers had to stay in the water for 45 minutes. The kids learned swim techniques, safety tips, and important points about drowning prevention.

Stephanie Thomas, a nurse at Cardon Children's Medical Center, says it's important to raise awareness about the risks of drowning. "Every year we see drownings happen," Thomas says. "It's especially in the summer, but it's really all year round.

Thomas says parental supervision is the number one way to prevent downing. But swim lessons can be an important tool in teaching safety around water. "When you start them young, they never have that fear. They learn to love the water," says swim instructor Lana Whitehead. "But again, the most important thing is layers of protection. Teaching them to swim, keeping barriers around the pool, learning CPR, and close supervision."

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