Kristi's Kids

Oct 2, 2013 7:52 PM by Kristi Tedesco

Exchange your child's "floaties" for free swim lessons and a swim vest!

TUCSON - This Friday, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Tucson Medical Center and Kohl's Cares will take your child's floaties and give you a voucher to participate in the Kohl's Cares Vest it Up! program.

Once a child (ages 4 to 17) completes eight swim lessons, they will receive a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) or life vest.

The swim lessons are provided by YMCA swim instructors year-round at various Tucson locations. The combination of lifesaving PFDs and swim lessons is known to keep kids safer in and around water.

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance warns against using unsafe flotation devices that are not U.S. Coast Guard-approved. Water wings or floaties, inflatable water rings and other pool toys can create risks for an unassisted young swimmer. They are NOT approved for safety and won't protect your child against drowning. Only U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are designed and tested for safety.

Since 1988, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports there have been 21 incidents requiring calls to 911 about these poor, even dangerous flotation devices.

HOW IT WORKS: Caregivers are invited to trade in their child's floaties for a voucher to participate in the Vest it Up! program. The child does not need to be present during the exchange event. There are about 350 vouchers available, and they will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. Caregivers will need to register the children for the classes. Upon completion of the classes, a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD will be provided to them.

The Kohl's Cares Vest it Up! program is being offered for the second year in a row. Kohl's Cares granted $49,729 to TMC for this program. Since 2005, more than $450,000 has been granted to TMC by Kohl's Cares.

WHEN: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4th

WHERE: Reid Park Golf Course, adjacent to the club house
600 S. Alvernon Way (Look for the TMC for Children's tent)

For more on the Vest it Up! program, click here.

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