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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


Accident (noun) - 1.  an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap.  2.  an event that happens unexpectedly, without deliberate plan or cause.


Accidents happen every day.  1065 children accidentally drown every day.  This means that roughly, 10,650 children ‘almost’ drown every day and many are permanently damaged and require lifetime care.  Let’s put it into perspective.  Last year 136 people (not just children) died from H1N1 every day and it was declared a pandemic - parents pulled their children from school, millions of doses of vaccine were produced and shortages caused panic.  


The International Life Saving Federation (www.ilsf.org) is working to have childhood drowning put in the UN Millennium Goals.  Of the 8 goals, #4 is ‘Reduce Childhood Mortality”.  Drowning is the second leading cause of death in every developed country and an even bigger problem in many developing countries.  It needs to be on that list.  It needs to be on every media channel.  It needs to be part of local, state, national, and international agendas.  It needs to be in every parent’s mind.  It needs to be on children’s television teaching them to be safe.  It needs to be in books.  It needs to be positively modeled in movies and videos.  It needs to be in preschools and schools.


Childhood drowning has been a silent epidemic for too long.  It needs to be a loud, annoying and and insistent epidemic until we are all forced to look at why it is such a problem and come up with creative solutions to keep our children safe.  I’m more than willing to be loud, annoying and insistent - anyone want to join me? 


For more information, visit my websites: www.rebeccawearrobinson.com and www.jabariofthewater.com

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Tags: Federation, ILSF, International, Life, Saving, WHO, advice, infant, learn, lessons, More…parenting, safety, swim, swimming, tips, to, water


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Comment by ERROL DUPLESSIS on February 28, 2011 at 6:24pm
Let's do it . . . !  And I got your point about MADD, so true.
Comment by Rebecca Wear Robinson on February 28, 2011 at 1:12pm
Errol - you have my full support.  Grass-roots, community efforts have a long history of creating lasting social change.  We can legislate all we want, but until people want to take responsibility, want their children to be safer, want to overcome centuries of creating an adversarial relationship with water, nothing will change.  Mobilizing communities is the most powerful change agent there is - look no further than MADD for proof.  Again - glad we are working on the same team!
Comment by ERROL DUPLESSIS on February 28, 2011 at 1:00pm

Hi Rebecca,

I want to shout with you.  The direction I want to go is to put the responsibility for the teaching of swimming in the hands of the community where it belongs: the HBCU's and every other college campus with a swimming pool.  These higher learning entities must get busy within their community, where they reside, to increase swimming literacy.  How?  I will lead another discussion group for DAP titled, "CAN THE HBCU'S HELP TRANSFORM A NON-SWIMMING GENERATION INTO LITERATE SWIMMERS?  HOW?"  Stay tuned!



Comment by Rebecca Wear Robinson on February 24, 2011 at 1:53pm
Thanks Jayson - I know I can count on Diversity in Aquatics to be shouting out in a big voice - your passion and commitment shows!
Comment by Jayson Jackson on February 24, 2011 at 1:46pm
Great post Rebecca. Well said!

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