Louisiana law makers have passed legislation providing for water safety training in classrooms across Louisiana. Caddo parish currently has in-water instruction classes for all second graders in Caddo Parish Public Schools.

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Louisiana House Bill 963 by Representative Joseph Orgeron from Larose, Louisiana  "Requires instruction in water safety for public school students."  State Representative Cedric Glover told KEEL News:

   HB 963 will help save the lives of Louisiana's children by arming them with information that will help them make better decisions in and around water. It is in the spirit of what my late friend Judah Hertz told me with regard to Project Swim, 'Water is such a constant presence all around us. We owe it to our children to equip them with the knowledge and skills that they need to possess in order to stay safe in and around it.

   FYI, I was away from my desk when it was voted on the floor, but it passed both bodies unanimously.

 

Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death among children ages one 10 to four and the second leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of fourteen 11 in our nation.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the 13 third leading cause of death in children ages one to four in Louisiana. For every child who dies from drowning, another eight children receive 15 emergency department care for non-fatal drowning.  There were twenty-four infant and child drownings in Louisiana in 2020.

Shreveporters remember the tragic drowning of six young people in the Red River in 2010.  From this tragedy, Project Swim was created by Representative Cedric Glover and Shelley McMillian of Rock Solid.  Project Swim has provided free swim lessons to nearly 20,000 children in Shreveport.

HB 963 will provide the following:

The proper use of flotation devises.

Awareness of water conditions.

The proper supervision of swim areas

Safe behaviors in and around the water

The importance of pool barriers and fencing

The importance of formal swim lessons.

The importance of avoiding alcohol and substance use with water recreation

The importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation for drowning victims and the importance of administering such aid

 

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