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Utah woman encourages swim lessons for children to prevent drowning deaths

Posted at 9:21 PM, Jun 03, 2023

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — Drowning takes the lives of Utahns every year, especially during summer months.

The CDC reported that drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages one to four, and another study found that swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%.

Brittany Groesbeck, the owner of Big Blue Swim in Cottonwood Heights, witnessed a traumatic drowning at a local recreation center in 2014.

“It's not like you hear in the movies — it's not splashing, there's not screaming,” said Groesbeck, “It’s silent and it's scary and it takes seconds, not minutes.”

The experience inspired Groesbeck and her husband Zack to open the swim school one year ago, in hopes of saving lives by teaching children how to swim.

“We wanted to make swim lessons available to everyone year-round because... [the] number one important water safety tip is get your kids in swimming lessons,” she said. “They don't really realize they're learning, but they're learning life saving skill while playing.”

She said kids can get in the water for lessons as young as three months old.

“It's actually surprising how young these little kids get comfortable in the water and how important it is to get them comfortable in the water,” she said.

Especially this year, with high water and flooding across the state, Groesbeck said it’s important that children know how to swim if they fall into water.

“100% the most important thing is if kids fall into water, they need to know how to get themselves out and how to be on the surface to take breaths until they can be helped out of the water,” she said.