Free outreach program teaches Mid-South children pool safety - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Free outreach program teaches Mid-South children pool safety

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

Two Memphis teens drowned at city pools during opening weekend last year.
   
And on Thursday, a 3-year-old boy nearly drowned in the deep end of a DeSoto County pool.
   
Mid-South child safety advocates are working hard to keep children safe this season. They don't want to see history repeat itself.
 
"If you don't know how to swim, the chances are greater for you to drown if you don't have a healthy respect for water," said Susan Helms with Safe-Kids MidSouth, part of LeBonheur Children's Medical Center's community outreach.

A University of Memphis research study found nearly 60 percent of African American & Hispanic children don't know how to swim. It's a startling statistic Helms is hoping to change.

Make a Splash Mid-South is an organization made up of concerned citizens who are taking action to keep children educated and safe at the pools this summer.

"It costs to take lessons, and it can be expensive, and they may not have the resources," said Cynthia Dickerson, a mother and daycare director.

The free program is already making a difference for 11-year-old Alyssa Moore and dozens of other children by teaching them how to swim.
 
"I got into this program so I can increase my skills and be safe when I go to the pool," Alyssa said.

The learn-to-swim program is being held at the Bickford Aquatics Center. Click here to learn more.

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