Park Pulse – The Importance of Learning to Swim at a Young Age

February 6, 2019, Department, by National Recreation and Park Association

Park Pulse 410

Each month, through a poll of Americans that is focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story. Questions span from the serious to the more lighthearted. In this month’s poll we asked the public, how important is it for children to learn how to swim at an early age.

More than 9 in 10 Americans (95 percent) believe it is important for children to learn how to swim at an early age. 

In fact, people of all ages agree it’s important for young children to learn how to swim:

  • 97 % of Baby Boomers
  • 95% of Gen Xers
  • 93% of Millennials 

Parks and recreation is a leading provider of low-cost/free swimming lessons. Nearly 70 percent of agencies nationwide provide aquatics programming, including learn-to-swim lessons and water safety programs for children and adults.

Research shows risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent if children participate in formal swimming lessons between ages 1–4. That’s why NRPA is proud to partner with the World Waterpark Association to support the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, June 20, 2019, which brings together tens of thousands of individuals from hundreds of communities around the globe who all participate in the same lesson over the course of a 24-hour period to raise awareness about drowning and the fact that swimming is a vital life-saving skill that every child should learn.

Visit NRPA Park Pulse for more information.

The National Recreation and Park Association survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,003 U.S. adults ages 18+, December 10-14, 2018, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older.