June 28, 2024

Operation Splash makes a splash for safe summer fun

Kaiser Permanente is making waves this summer, ensuring that communities across Southern California stay cool, safe, and active.

Nadine Urzua, age 4, at Sippy Woodhead Pool in Riverside, California. For her second year of swim lessons she’ll learn water safety and advance to the big kid's pool.

In the sun-drenched landscape of Southern California, where beaches and pools beckon, fun is front and center — water safety is paramount. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s important to follow the water safety tips on their site to help ensure that a good time doing water activities is also a safe time.

The best workouts don’t feel like workouts

Kaiser Permanente’s Operation Splash initiative, launched in 2006, ensures that youth, teens, and adults in low-income neighborhoods have access to safe aquatic programs and exercise. It provides free swim lessons, pool passes, and junior lifeguard training to thousands of people, regardless of financial circumstances. By teaching swimming skills, the initiative helps instill a love of water-based workouts and actively reduces preventable drowning incidents.

“Summer is the perfect time to get kids moving,” said Danielle Flowers, MD, a pediatric specialist with the Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center. “Swimming is an excellent way for them to stay cool, have fun, and get a great workout without putting too much stress on their joints. It’s a wonderful activity that helps build muscles and improve cardiovascular health, and is a great way to combat childhood obesity.”

Beyond safety, swimming improves cardiovascular health and mental wellness. It’s a refreshing way to stay fit and foster overall well-being. Since its inception, this Kaiser Permanente Community Health program has reached approximately 306,600 youth and adults throughout Southern California.

Families in swimming pool

Families splashed together at the Sylmar Pool summer kickoff event. Kaiser Permanente ensures low-income families can access safe aquatic exercise.

Another healthy summer reminder: Skip sugary beverages

Operation Splash also supports the Rethink Your Drink campaign to emphasize the benefits of drinking water for hydration and to promote healthier beverage choices as alternatives to sugary beverages. The effort is part of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living initiative to make lives better, fight obesity, reduce health disparities, and make healthy food and physical activity part of everyday life.

Stay cool, hydrated, and safe this summer. And have fun!