No parent likes to be reminded at the beginning of summer that drowning is the second leading cause of unintended, injury-related death in children between the ages of 1 and 14.
But the organizers of the World's Largest Swimming Lesson are hoping to help change that statistic.
The York YWCA will be participating in the World's Largest Swimming Lesson Guinness World Record attempt with thousands of other groups around the globe on Thursday.
The event kicks off at 10:45 a.m. at YWCA York, 320 E. Market St., and the world record attempt begins at 11 a.m.
The 30-minute swim lesson will focus on water safety and be led by aquatics director Kathy Warner and several other instructors.
About 40 children and
"Everybody has to teach the exact same lesson at the exact same time," said Warner. "They are really trying to over-shoot the record."
Warner heard about the effort when the YWCA Gettysburg participated last
year, but the event is not connected to the YWCA -- any organization that gives swimming lessons is welcome to participate.
"The whole thing was set up to inform everybody that you need swimming lessons to prevent drowning," Warner said. "We're trying to get the word out and bring more people into swimming lessons."
In 2007 there were 3,443 fatal drownings in the United States, which averages out to about 10 per day -- and most of those were age 14 and under, said Warner.
"For every one that dies from drowning, another receives emergency care," said Warner. "That is very high, and we really need to bring down the drownings. It is so easy just to get your child swimming lessons and be aware of safety and wear a life jacket if you're out on a boat."
The current Guinness World Record is held by the 2011 World's Largest Swimming Lesson event, held last June with more than 20,000 children and adults around the world, according to www.worldslargestswimminglesson.org.
To be part of the World's Largest Swimming Lesson Guinness World Record or to register for swimming lessons, call 845-2631 or visit www.ywcayork.org.
--Reach Chelsea Shank at cshank@york dispatch.com.