“On June 10, 2018, while on vacation in Alabama, my 3-year-old son, Levi, slipped out of a room filled with people. He was wearing khaki shorts and watching TV with friends after dinner when he somehow got off the couch, out the door, down the stairs, and drowned — all within moments.
Shortly after our loss of Levi, we learned that drowning is the #1 cause of death for children ages 1- 4, and the #3 for ages 5 - 19. It is a silent epidemic that our society mostly ignores. Nearly 70% of children who drown do so during a non-swim time — just like our Levi, who slipped out of the door while I was closing a bag of Cheetos.
HOW did we not know?”
- Nicole Hughes, Mother of 3, Water Safety Advocate & Founder of Water Guardians: Levi’s Legacy
Drowning takes the lives of 3 children in the U.S. every day.* This statistic is unacceptable. With the help of local pediatricians, we can change it. We can save lives. It all starts with awareness and education.
Nicole Hughes has experienced the pain and grief of this silent epidemic all too well. She has dedicated herself to channeling her grief to help other parents avoid the tragedy her family has endured. As a result, she founded Water Guardians: Levi’s Legacy, in memory of her son, and has worked to bring awareness and conversation to the topic, ultimately taking her message to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to advocate for change
At Goldfish Swim School, we are proud to teach more than 100,000 children how to swim each week. We also offer free Water Safety Presentations to schools, camps, clubs, groups and daycare centers. Our mission is simple: to help children be safer in and around the water.
We are proud to have teamed up with Nicole Hughes to launch Goldfish RX, a program aimed to build relationships with pediatricians across the country. The Goldfish RX program proudly aligns with Water Guardians: Levi’s Legacy, as together these efforts aim to support the AAP’s newly released updated recommendations to prevent drowning in children. These policies stress the critical role pediatricians play in this life-saving mission. Parents and guardians turn to pediatricians to provide them with the information they need to keep their children safe. Car seats, home safety, proper nutrition, and medication are all part of important conversations for families with young children – and now it’s time to add water safety to the list. Goldfish RX provides pediatricians with material to help educate parents and guardians. Materials include coloring sheets with water safety tips, educational pamphlets, and a prescription tear pad to prescribe every child an introductory, complimentary swim lesson at their local Goldfish Swim School.
The AAP’s updated recommendations specifically address the value of swim lessons at a young age, as Linda Quan, MD, FAAP, and co-author of the policy statement states in the release, “Research has found that swim lessons are beneficial for children starting around the age of one, and may lower drowning rates.” The updates also stress the importance of vetting experienced swim lesson programs and well-trained instructors.
“I firmly believe swim lessons would have saved my son, and I will forever regret not giving him a chance to fight for his life. Drowning prevention requires layers of protection to keep the unimaginable from happening. Together, we can change the way our culture perceives water, spread awareness on the truths about drowning, and save our future children.” - Nicole Hughes
We are looking forward to teaming up with pediatricians to continue to build awareness for water safety and drowning prevention. To learn more and get involved with Goldfish RX, please reach out to your local Goldfish Swim School.
*According to SafeKids.org
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