HomeRiverside County NewsRiverside County allocates $60,000 in water safety programs for young children

Riverside County allocates $60,000 in water safety programs for young children

Riverside County, California – The Board of Supervisors in Riverside County has designated $60,000 from the Community Improvement Designation Funds to enhance water safety in the Third District. This allocation will fund advanced training for swimming instructors and expand the availability of swimming lesson scholarships for youngsters.

This training will qualify instructors to teach vital drowning-prevention skills to young children. Even those as young as six months will learn techniques like turning underwater into a back-float to breathe and signal for help. Such skills are crucial for their safety, especially if they accidentally fall into a pool. Though adult supervision is essential around water, these lessons also help in developing stronger swimming abilities as they grow.

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Currently, SoCal Water Babies in French Valley offers survival swimming lessons for babies and toddlers, supported by the First 5 Riverside County Children and Families Commission, led by Executive Director Tammi Graham. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under four, and the Commission prioritizes preventing such tragedies.

Chuck Washington, the Third District Supervisor and a member of the Commission since 2015, is a strong advocate for these programs. “Infant self-rescue lessons not only teach children to be safe around water, but it equips them with the tools to save themselves,” he added.

Benefits of the funding

Cathryn Van Der Linden, the founder of SoCal Water Babies, discussed the benefits this funding brings for aspiring instructors.

“I love being a survival swim instructor because I get to empower children and enrich their lives with confidence and competence around the water. There is truly nothing more rewarding than having a parent tell me how much these lessons have improved their family’s quality of life by enhancing their enjoyment of summertime fun around the pool. During my career, many parents have expressed an interest in becoming an instructor, but the training is cost prohibitive. This generous grant is an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to own their own business while providing an invaluable service to the community,” Cathryn said.

SoCal Water Babies conducts classes on drowning prevention for children aged 6 months to 5 years, from March to November. As more instructors become available in District 3, their schedules and contact details will be shared via Supervisor Washington’s Office and F5RC.


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