Water safety training will now be taught in Louisiana’s public schools

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:33 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Lawmakers believe if they can teach students in the classroom about water safety, they could save more lives.

Jumping into the water is perfect for getting away from the summer heat, but it is important to remember safety too.

“You can’t assume that children know those dangers when they are near a pool,” explains Louisiana Senator Beth Mizell.

Mizell is one of the co-authors of a recent bill signed into law, that will now make public schools teach water safety in grades K-12th.

“The more widespread that is acknowledged. I mean we had 24 children and infants in the last records of 2020 were lost to accidental drowning,” addedMizell.

The safety training will focus on the use of proper floatation devices, safe behaviors in and around the water, awareness of water conditions and other safety measures.

“So often, these sad stories where a child just went outside and thought they would go into the pool without any idea of what could take place. So, if we can bring that level of awareness by providing literature and these lessons to the children, that is going to be a great step forward,” explained Mizell.

Some, like the East Baton Rouge School System, have already started doing water safety classes with a group called Tankproof.

“To have water safety incorporated into the curriculum of our state is amazing. This is something we have been pushing for years,” said Thurman Thomas, who is the co-founder of Tankproof.

Thomas said a lot of the time, just talking with a child and reminding them of the safety measures they need to take around a body of water can help.

“To learn about water safety can be done with simple conversations. Dos and don’ts in a classroom and in any kind of setting. People think just because you own a pool, you don’t own a pool, maybe go to the beach, maybe go to the river, to a lake…water safety starts on the land, and these are things every child should know,” added Thomas.

The Louisiana State Department of Education will be working with the school districts to bring this new training to classrooms across the state.

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