By: Jaime Vining
Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children ages one through four. In fact, according to Water Smart Florida, at least 12 children in the state have died from drowning since March 2020.
Laura Lightbourne of SwimPro Parkland wants to reduce those statistics this summer. The Heron Bay resident and swim teacher of over 20 years offers swim lessons locally to babies, toddlers, and children.
“Summer is always a busy time for swim lessons, but since many kids are not in camp, the demand for lessons has skyrocketed,” said Lightbourne.
In Florida, there are pools and lakes abound, and less experienced swimmers remain at risk for drowning.
Water safety is critical, and this is especially true during the global pandemic where Lightbourne has implemented a number of new procedures to ensure the safety of her clients.
SwimPro staggers lessons 15 minutes apart to give the families time to get dressed and leave the pool area before the next lesson. “I also wear a hat with a face shield to minimize contact with the child, and I disinfect the seating and toys between lessons,” Lightbourne said, adding that swimming in the sun helps keep the virus at bay.
“I thought the kids would freak out at the hat and mask, but they have barely even noticed,” she laughed. “As long as they get to play, sing and have fun, they are good.”
The CDC advises that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of recreational waters, and proper operation and disinfection of pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds should kill the virus.
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Jaime Vining is a Florida native, but recent Parkland transplant. By day, she is a Florida Bar-certified Intellectual Property attorney, adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law and an avid blogger. Prior to earning her law degree, Jaime was a featured journalist for publications like the Orlando Sentinel and aXis Magazine. In 2009, she released a compilation of interviews with musicians under the title Off the Bus and On the Record.
Jaime is also a mom to two little boys and you will regularly find her running early mornings at Pine Trails Park trying to keep up with them.
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