FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A USA Swimming Foundation study says black and Hispanic children still lag behind in swimming ability despite overall improvement for children nationwide since 2010.

The study found that drownings are the second-leading cause of unintentional death for children under 14. Researchers said 64 percent of black children and 45 percent of Hispanic children in the U.S. cannot swim.

The foundation says half the 41 Broward County children under age 5 who have drowned since 2009 were black. Researchers said black children were 5.5 times more likely to drown than white children.

USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative aims to make swimming lessons available for more children. Olympic gold medal-winning swimmers Cullen Jones and Rowdy Gaines will speak about the program and lead swimming lessons at pools in Miami and Fort Lauderdale on Monday.

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