Swimming Paper

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Elementary Strokes

            Knowing how to swim is obviously good and beneficial for everyone. It’s a great exercise that can be used by people of all ages. It builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness. The biggest benefit, however, of knowing how to swim is the prevention of accidental drowning.             Swimming is relatively easy to learn! Yet drowning is the number one killer of children ages four and under. According to the National Red Cross, approximately 50% of the American population does not know how to swim. “In the United States, 1,236 children, aged zero to 18, died from drowning in 2000. This number has constantly increased each year.” The president of the National MCH Center for Child Death Review acknowledged a study in the Journal of Pediatrics on the relationship between a child’s age and place of drowning: babies most often drown in bathtubs, toddlers in swimming pools, and older children in open bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, ponds, and oceans. The study went on to report toddlers and older children drowned even though parental supervision was in attendance. Many of the drowning could have been prevented had the adult know how to swim or what to do in case of accidental drowning.             How can these numbers be decreased? It’s simple: make swimming as import as reading, writing and arithmetic in elementary schools. According to CBBC Newsround paper in Europe, “one in every six primary pupils in England and Wales can barely swim a single stroke when they leave school.” What makes this so terrible is the National European Curriculum Guide for Primary Education states “eleven-year-olds must be able to swim at least 25 meters’” before they can graduate primary school. At least they have a curricular guide. In the United States, not only swimming considered a “less important sport than football and basketball” but the importance of learning to swim is not even addressed. Most teachers say “there’s so much...
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