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Park District Aims For World Record For Largest Swimming Lesson

Children swimmin at the Robert E. Wood Boys & Girls Club on 25th Street. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

Children swimmin at the Robert E. Wood Boys & Girls Club on 25th Street. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago Park District is signing up children to take part in an attempt to set a new record for the world’s largest swimming lesson.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, at more than 70 Chicago pools on June 20, the Park District will teach children to swim. It’s part of a global attempt to break the current Guinness world record of more than 32,000 participants in the largest simultaneous swimming lesson.

It’s also deadly serious business. Drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 1 and 5, and the second leading cause for those 14 and younger.

Swimming lessons can dramatically reduce the risk, but many children get no formal swimming or water safety training.

Park District Supt. Michael Kelly said it’s a critical life skill that all children should master.