In troubling new numbers, significantly fewer kids in 2020 compared to the year before, are learning how to swim in NE Florida because of the pandemic. It’s concerning for families and swim teachers, with drowning consistently one of the leading causes of deaths among kids, and Florida is one of the top states annually for drownings. This year the numbers have increased dramatically.
Albert Passavanti, knows how important swim lessons are. Two summers ago, a video of him diving into his pool to save his one-and-a-half-year-old son, Rocco, went viral.“It really hit us to the core saying wow our child that can’t swim just fell in the pool. Thank god we were out there,” Passavanti said in an interview. Some parents have had their kids swimming in lessons since they were about one and haven’t stopped through the pandemic.
“I think the risk of drowning or a drowning experience are a lot greater than the risk of Covid,” said one parent. But other parents have been avoiding the water since the Pandemic started.
Joani Maskell owner of Swimming Safari Swim School says she has made lots of changes. All our staff now wear a mask or a face shield. Many chairs have been eliminated from the lobby and the ones that are there, are spaced way apart. Cleaning has been multiplied ten-fold. There are even fewer lessons in the pool at the same time, even though it is believed that Covid does not spread in water. Joani points out that the pool is not only chlorinated but has a specialized UV system that kills all pathogens instantly.
So, swimming at Swimming Safari Swim School is one of the safest activities children can do during these unique times.