The USA Swimming Foundation kicked- off its 10th annual Make a Splash Tour in Washington, D.C. by setting a Guinness world record for the world’s largest kickboard. This gigantic kickboard, which is 10 times the standard adult size board that is 18 feet and 11 feet wide, will serve as a larger-than-life petition for all Americans to urge Congress to add the question, “Do you know how to swim?” to the 2020 Census.

Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14. The Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 will visit four cities nationwide during June to raise awareness around the importance of learning how to swim.

The oversized kickboard was used as a reminder for parents to enroll their children in swim lessons, and for Congress to add this question to the 2020 Census in order to gain an accurate count of a family’s ability to swim in the U.S.

“Learning to swim changed the course of my life forever,” USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador and six-time Olympic medalist, Missy Franklin said. “This record-setting moment is designed to further the awareness of the importance of making sure children achieve the skills they need to build their confidence in the water and in life.”

Surprisingly enough, the CDC reports that drowning claims the lives of approximately 3,500 people per year, with nearly 25 percent being children under the age of 14.

African-American children drown at a rate nearly 5.5 times higher than their Caucasian peers. Learning these shocking statistics has now encouraged us to learn how to swim as a family.

When and how did you learn how to swim?

AP Images for USA Swimming Foundation

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