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Required water safety instruction in Michigan schools? Senator Victory introduces Senate Bill No. 736



Sen. Victory sponsors water safety instruction bill

 

February 29, 2024

 

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Roger Victory (https://www.senatorrogervictory.com) on Thursday introduced legislation to help save kids from drowning by requiring water safety instruction in school.

“This is about helping save lives. Over 1,550 people have drowned in the Great Lakes since 2010, with Lake Michigan having the highest drowning rate,” said Victory, R- Hudsonville. “Everyone in our state lives less than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes, yet a recent statewide survey shows that fewer than 15% of Michigan schools provide water safety education or swimming to students.

“Water safety education and swim training have been shown to enhance the knowledge and skills needed to protect children and youth from the tragedy of drowning.”

Each year, over 4,000 people die from drowning in the U.S., and well over 8,000 people are injured due to non-fatal drowning incidents. Youths age 19 and younger make up 22% of drowning fatalities.

In the U.S., drowning is the leading cause of death for children from 1 to 4 years old and second only to car accidents for unintentional deaths for youths ages 5 to 14.

 

“Michigan is the Great Lakes State, and our state should be a leader in water safety and drowning prevention efforts nationwide,” said Dr. Greg Field, CDC Foundation technical advisor on Understanding and Preventing Drowning, U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan project management assistant, and former surf rescue lifeguard, firefighter and teacher.

“The passing of this bill will help Michigan become a guiding light in protecting people from the tragedy of drowning and help keep children and youth safe in, on, and around the water.”


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