NORWALK, CONN. – The summer swim season is upon us and Norwalk police and recreation officials want kids to follow Stewie the Duck’s example and have a safe and happy one.
Stewie will paddle over to the city's Calf Pasture Beach on Saturday, July 2, to help them celebrate Water Safety Day.
The free event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Besides lessons on swimming and water safety, there will be giveaways, organizers said.
The giant yellow bird sporting a baseball cap and an orange life vest is the mascot for the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation.
His motto: “Don’t jump in ‘til you learn to swim."
The foundation was set up by Kim and Stew Leonard Jr., the owners of the supermarket chain of the same name.
The Leonards lost their 21-month-old son to a tragic drowning accident in 1989 and they have since been huge supporters of efforts to keep children safe while swimming.
The American Red Cross offers some facts on child drownings, including:
- It is the leading cause of accidental deaths for children ages 1-4.
- Most drownings happen in residential pools.
- Most infants under the age of one drown in a toilet, sink, bathtub, or bucket with as little as two inches of water.
- For every child that drowns, four others are hospitalized for near drowning, and as many as three suffer permanent brain damage.
- Nine out of 10 drowning deaths happen when a caregiver is supervising but not paying attention.
For more information, call Norwalk police Lt. Terry Blake at (203) 854-3074.
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