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The Fear of Drowning

Guestpert : Kenneth Rippetoe Category : Sports Tags : Swim, Drowning, Swim lessons, children, summer, pool, health, safety, fear

Kenneth is the founder and head coach of One with the Water, a nonprofit swim school that offers need-based scholarships to children with special needs, adults, low-income families, and service-disabled Veterans. He is a certified US Paralympic Disabilities Swim Coach and a strength and conditioning coach.


Approximately one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. The rate of near drowning is much higher, as not all near drownings are reported. Additionally, among children with autism, the risk of drowning increases exponentially. Children with autism are 160 times as likely to die from drowning as the general pediatric population.

Many of our children clients are very scared at first, but once they learn to swim they sometimes never want to stop. They slowly overcome their fears of the water as they learn basic floating skills to basic swimming skills to being independent swimmers.

Most of our adult clients had been thrown into pools or water when they were children, and unfortunately, they don't get over it until they come to us decades later. When they do, we accept them with open hearts and help them to fall in love with the water again.

Swimming provides measurable health and therapeutic benefits for our special needs community in and out of the water. From better balance and gross motor skills, to improved speech and communication, our athletes are changing their lives by learning to swim. Their risk of accidental drowning plummets by 88%. Being a part of a team reduces isolation and creates positive peer relationships that carry over outside of the pool, and they have the confidence to conquer their fears.

It is my belief that people should continuously challenge themselves in order to fulfill their physical, emotional, and intellectual potential.