Working Together

To Save Lives

County Of San Diego Partners With PDFSD To Fund Swim Lesson Grants And Develop A Water Safety Media Outreach Campaign

San Diego, California, May 1, 2022: In honor of Drowning Prevention Month, Supervisor Jim Desmond will present a proclamation declaring May 2022 as Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Awareness Month in San Diego County. In support of this proclamation, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has provided funding to expand the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego’s swim lesson and water safety grant program. They have also provided funding through First 5 San Diego to expand the reach of education and outreach around drowning prevention methods.

WHAT: Proclamation Presentation for Drowning Prevention Month

WHERE: County Administration Building, Waterfront Park, Civic Green (west of southern water fountain)

WHEN: Monday, May 2, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

Drowning is the number 1 cause of unintentional injury deaths for children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause for children under 14. Drowning can be prevented through water safety education, including learning to swim, and learning how to provide CPR with rescue breathing. 

“May is the time of year when many begin to think about summer break and taking their first swim in a backyard pool or in the ocean,” said Supervisor Jim Desmond, District 5. “We are providing this $250,000 grant to help provide youth and parents in San Diego County with the education and skills they need to stay safe at the pool and beach this season.”

“Swimming is a life skill that is not easily accessible to all residents in our communities,” Vice Chair Nora Vargas, District 1. “According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 79% of children in households with incomes of less than $50,000 a year have little-to-no swimming ability. Their research also shows that  64% of African-American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability. Learning to swim is the best defense against drowning.”

To assist families with swim lessons for their kids, the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego has scheduled a series of free summer pool parties across the county providing access to communities of concern.

San Diego County Pool Parties:

  • San Marcos Pool – May 15, 2022 / 12:30pm – 4:30pm / International Water Safety Day
  • Bud Kearns – June 18, 2022 / 11:00am – 3:00pm / Happy “90th” Anniversary
  • Fletcher Pool – June 23, 2022 / 12:30pm – 4:30pm / World’s Largest Swim Lesson
  • Carmel Valley Pool – July 23, 2022 / 12:00pm – 4:00pm / National Drowning Prevention Week
  • Vista Terrace Pool – August 5, 2022 / 4:00pm – 8:00pm / Happy 50th Anniversary Dive-in Movie

Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego’s mission is to save lives by helping local school kids learn to swim, in partnership with the local cities and School Districts, by funding, coordinating, and promoting learn-to-swim programs at local pools.

Since 2009, their purpose has been simple; they do everything they can to prevent drowning and save lives of children by targeting under-served communities that need swim lessons and ocean safety education. With local schools, community, and aquatic partners, they have impacted tens of thousands of young people in San Diego County and made their lives safer and more enjoyable.

Swimming is a life skill that is not easily accessible to all residents in our communities. 

Children’s accessibility to water in San Diego County is high, with 70 miles of coastline, 20 freshwater lakes, 7,466 public permitted bodies of water such as apartment complex swimming pools and many backyard pools. 

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, the PDFSD collaborated with school districts to teach 5,121 underserved school children how to swim.
  • Formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drownings by 88%.
  • Drowning kills more children 1-4 years of age than anything else except birth defects.
  • Among children 1-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death (after motor vehicle crashes).
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 79% of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability; this includes 64% of African American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children.
  • In 2019, 100 fatal and non-fatal drownings were reported by Rady Children’s Hospital alone.
  • In 2018, there were 47 drowning deaths, 55 hospitalizations for non-
  • fatal drownings and 87 emergency department discharges for non-fatal drownings in San Diego County.