PIGEON FORGE, Tenn — Drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death for children ages one to four in the U.S.
Every day nearly 10 people die from unintentional drowning, according to the CDC. Of those deaths, two are children 14 years old or younger.
But the folks at Dollywood's Splash Country are working to reduce those numbers.
The park is participating in the "World's Largest Swim Lesson" this year, a world-wide effort focused on teaching water safety from India to Mexico to the Phillipines.
The huge water safety fair is aimed at teaching families and young children, and this year it falls on June 20.
Starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dollywood's Splash Country will host a swim lesson in its wave pool, followed by a water safety fair with more than a dozen vendors.
Guests can learn about everything from sun and boating safety to opportunities to sign up for local swim lessons.
Olympic Gold Medalist Jenna Johnson and swimming instructor Jackie Bertucci will both teach swim lessons. Staff with LeConte Medical Center will be there for demonstrations as well.
Dollywood's Splash Country lifeguards are required to attend in-services weekly to ensure they are ready to respond to emergency situations. You can watch them as they train and run swimmer-in-distress scenarios Thursday, too.
Lifeguard In-Service begins at 8:30 a.m. Swim lessons begin at 10 a.m., but staff asks that participants arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. Vendors are available until 2 p.m.