Thanks tri-state governors for lifeline to swimmers

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With temperatures soaring, children throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware have been dreaming about getting into the water. 

Govs. Phil Murphy, Tom Wolf and John Carney helped make those dreams a reality when they announced that indoor  and outdoor pools were able to reopen, providing they follow the appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols. Taking care to address concerns, the requirements for reopening pools were put in place through close coordination with local public health officials and industry best practices. The governors should be commended for this decision as these facilities provide a life-saving resource swim lessons that protect our children from potential tragedy.


Simply put, swim lessons save childrens lives. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under age 4, and the second highest cause for children under age 14. New Jersey is no exception, with 11 of its 89 drowning deaths in 2018 being children under 14. A prolonged halt to learn-to-swim programs could have caused these incidents to increase. 


The governors had a hard decision to make, but, recognizing that access to pools is essential to equipping our children with the lifesaving and developmental skills they will need this summer, they made the right one.


Tristan Formon, Gillette



Editors note: The writer is general chair of the statewide organization  New Jersey Swimming Inc.,  and the CEO of Berkeley Aquatic Club in New Providence