Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | 8:55 p.m.
As the summer swim season reaches its peak, three Las Vegas public pools are offering $5 swim lessons for schoolchildren.
The programs are part of a partnership between the city and the Red Cross that aims to reduce drowning and mark 100 years of Red Cross water-safety education.
The aquatics courses are being offered now through July 10 and July 13-24 at locations across the city. A third session runs from July 27 to Aug. 7.
As of June 19, Clark County emergency crews had responded to four fatal drowning incidents, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.
"As we all gear up for trips to the pool, rivers or lake, we're asking that adults here in Las Vegas make water safety a priority this summer," Scott Emerson, CEO of the Red Cross Nevada region, said in a statement. "Families need to make sure that both adults and children have the knowledge and skills they need to be safe in and around the water. Already this year, we've lost too many previous lives in our valley."
Red Cross officials said the drowning rate among blacks is of particular concern as it is higher than the national average. In Clark County, the rate is 1.41 per 100,000 people, compared with 1.17 per 100,000 people nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The swimming lessons will teach children how to step or jump into water over their head, float or tread water for one minute, turn around in a full circle, swim 25 yards and exit from the water without using a ladder.
Red Cross officials ask parents or guardians interested in signing up their children to call the individual pools for more information. The pools are Baker Pool, 1100 E. St. Louis Ave. (702-229-1532); Doolittle Pool, 1940 N. J St. (702-229-6398) and Carlos L. Martinez and Darrio J. Hall Family Pool at Gary Reece Freedom Park, 889 N. Pecos Road (702-229-1755).