Agency issues warning of drowning threat after pandemic kept kids away from swim lessons

May is National Water Safety Awareness Month and swim schools in the D.C. region say it’s even more important than ever.

READ MORE: Father, daughter dead after drowning in Waldorf pool

Due to restrictions during the pandemic, many children have been out of swim lessons for more than a year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a formal warning of an increased threat in drownings due to implications brought on by the pandemic. 

READ MORE: Good Samaritan dives into bay to rescue toddler thrown into water during crash near Ocean City

Goldfish Swim School in Silver Spring teaches kids 4 months to 12 years old. After a year at less than 50% capacity, general manager Samantha Colein tells FOX 5 she’s concerned for families this summer.

"If you can’t swim it’s even more important for your child to know how to swim, that’s why we have these lessons we want everyone to be safe in and around water," she said.

British Swim School in Rockville teaches classes for both children and adults. Owner Bonnie Alcid says the recent drowning deaths of a 7-year-old girl and her father in Charles County are devastating.

She says it’s never too late to learn to swim, even for those who have a fear of water. She had one man start swimming lessons at age 92. 

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

The instructors encourage families to educate themselves about water safety and designate a "water guard"- an adult who can swim- with the sole responsibility of keeping an eye on the swimmers.

No chatting, no checking your phone, no distractions, and switch this person out every 30 minutes so they stay alert.