By The Numbers


Getting in the swim What's summertime without water?

On July 23, 1827, the first swimming school in the United States opened in Boston. Since then, doctors, parents and others have debated the age at which children should be taught to swim. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday, and swim programs for children under 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning. Here are some other swimming and water facts, by the numbers:

6 Months, the age at which babies can begin an American Red Cross Infant and Preschool Aquatic Program that teaches swimming readiness.

350 The number of children ages 5 and under who drown in pools each year, most of them in the summer, according to the Red Cross.

21.92 Number of seconds it took Maritza Correia of Georgia to swim the 50--meter freestyle this year, giving her the best women's time in college swimming.

19.28 Number of seconds it took Anthony Ervin of California to swim the 50--meter freestyle this year, giving him the best men's time in college swimming.

14 Years, age of the two youngest--ever Olympic gold medalists.

1964 The year Lillian "Pokey" Watson, 14 years, 96 days old, won the gold in the 400 meter freestyle.

1996 The year Amanda Beard, 14 years, 265 days old, won the gold in the 100--meter breast stroke.

9 Feet, the depth of water needed for diving.

5 Feet, the minimum height requirement for fences around a pool.

56 Number of outdoor swimming pools available to the public through the Chicago Park District.

34 Number of indoor swimming pools run by the Chicago Park District.

14 Number of water parks throughout Illinois.

9 Number of swim beaches run by the Illinois State Parks.

3,500 Number of swimming pools and bathing beaches regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

-- Nicole Caputo

Kids Eat Chicago

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