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Florida could soon require swim safety lessons in schools

Posted at 9:06 AM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 12:06:39-04

BRANDON, Fla. — A Florida lawmaker just filed a bill to make water safety lessons required in school. This year, 52 children have died from drowning in the state, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Now, two Florida lawmakers believe education could be key to saving lives.

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More children drown in Florida than any other state in the nation. That's why state Sen. Jason Pizzo believes school districts should be required to include water safety curriculum for kindergarteners through 12th-graders. He and state Rep. James Bush III have submitted identical bills for consideration in the House and Senate this upcoming session.

The bills, SB680 and HB 325, would add water safety to school curriculum for kids K-12, including lessons on how to wear life vests, proper supervision around pools, how to get out of a pool if a child falls in and how to escape a rip current.

If passed, the bill would become law in July.

Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center Swim Instructor Theresa Hickie thinks it's a great idea.

"Swimming is like learning math," she said. "You can't just do it once and you're going to learn it. It has to be enforced every year."

This story was originally published by Sarah Hollenbeck on WFTS.