Tarrant County swim lesson reinforces pool safety, skills for drowning prevention

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Children huddled close to the lifeguards with curiosity at Grapevine’s Pleasant Glade Pool as they were instructed on how to float, paddle and kick off the pool wall.

“I learned how to float on my back!” 5-year-old Soren Schnitzius said.

Water splashed out of the pool as children practiced paddling in the shallow end of the pool. 

“Mom, look at me!” echoed across the water as kids gleamed with excitement.

The June 20 lesson reminded children from 1 to 14 and their parents the importance of water safety and taking precautions. The summer activity was part of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, an annual event that the city of Grapevine participated in. 

An estimated 39,000 people participated in the day of swimming, said April Rogers, Grapevine Parks & Recreation’s marketing manager. 

The day reminded 14-year-old Kassidy Willis she has to be a strong swimmer so she can keep her younger cousins safe while they swim together.

“I’m a little comfortable with swimming,” Kassidy said.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children 1 to 4, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The chance of a child dying from drowning can be reduced 88% if they participate in formal swimming lessons, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Lifeguards reminded children of rules like no running, no pushing others in, always swimming with an adult and staying hydrated.

“It’s important to reinforce with kids regularly how to stay safe in the water,” Soren’s mother Jennifer Schnitzius said. “Stuff like this is really helpful because it’s another reminder.”

Jennifer Schnitzius helps her son, Soren, float on his back June 20, 2024, at Pleasant Glade Pool in Grapevine. (Alberto Silva Fernandez | Fort Worth Report)

Schnitzius often has her hands full with her three children under 5. The swim lesson gave her peace of mind, just in case.

“I have freedom knowing that they’re safe to enjoy themselves a little bit more so, and my mind can be more at ease when I’m out at the pool with them,” Schnitzius said.

Jennifer Schnitzius lifts up her daughter, Liberty, during the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson in Grapevine on June 20, 2024. (Alberto Silva Fernandez | Fort Worth Report)

Georgie London is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at [email protected]. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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