Memorial Day marks the start of summer, which for many families, is a time spent by the pool. While it can mean great fun for some, it can also mean great tragedy for others.
Kim and Stew Leonard learned this lesson the hard way, when their 21-month-old son drowned at a family gathering in 1989. On Monday, the couple visit The Early Show to offer pool-safety tips.
The Leonards founded the "Stew Leonard, III Water Safety Foundation" to help promote water safety awareness. The foundation provides thousands of swimming lessons and tons of safety equipment through local YMCAs and the SwimAmerica program.
They also created the character of 'Stewie The Duck" and wrote a book with the hopes that making water safety fun for children would help save lives.
Stewie The Duck Learns To Swim includes a very catchy "rules tune" that is both written and sung throughout the book, to enforce the water safety advice.
The book will cost $4.95 (shipping and handling will cost $1.75) and will available at Stew Leonard's grocery stores in Norwalk and Danbury, Conn, and Yonkers, N.Y. It will also be available through the Stew Leonard's Web site or by calling 800-SAY-STEW.
SwimAmerica is also beginning its 10th year of swimming lessons for children age 4 or older.
It teaches approximately 2,000 children each yea in novice, intermediate, and advanced swimmer categories. SwimAmerica was created by the American Swimming Coaches Association. There are over 800 SwimAmerica programs operating in the U.S.