OLYMPIA, WA – Drowning is a leading cause of death for children aged one to four and has devastating effects on families and communities. House Bill 1750, known as Yori’s Law, seeks to prevent these tragedies by promoting education and awareness around water safety, increasing access to swimming lessons, and equipping families with the necessary tools and equipment. The measure, which is sponsored by State Representative April Berg (D-Mill Creek), passed unanimously in the House today.
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“Drowning is a preventable tragedy, but too many children are losing their lives due to lack of access to water safety education and resources,” Berg says. Drowning disproportionately affects communities of color, with 45% of Hispanic children and 64% of African American children having limited or no ability to swim. African American children are five and a half times more likely to drown in a swimming pool than their Caucasian counterparts, while male children are twice as likely to drown. Children from lower-income households are also more likely to have limited or no ability to swim, making education and access to swimming lessons and water safety tools even more critical. “With the passage of Yori’s Law, we’re taking a critical step towards closing the equity gap and giving all children, regardless of race or socio-economic status, the tools they need to stay safe in and around water.”
The State of Washington is committed to making sure that all its residents have the information and resources they need to stay safe around water. Yori’s Law is a testament to that commitment and a step towards creating a safer future for everyone.
“This bill is a step towards creating a more equitable and just society, where everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of their background,” Berg says.
Yori’s law will now advance to the Washington State Senate for further consideration.