Move over, Baby Shark! This year, the water-themed earworm stuck in families’ heads comes from the rescue dogs of “Paw Patrol” and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.
The legendary Olympian and his four-year-old son, Boomer, are the stars of a PSA by the Nick Jr. animated series, which features a catchy tune that covers the swimming safety basics.
While the 35-year-old father of three doesn’t break out his own musical chops for the summer pop jingle, the duo happily demonstrate the “1-2-3s of swim safety”: Phelps properly supervises his toddler’s pool fun and gets Boomer comfortable in the water by practicing poses with him.
We won’t judge if the melody gets you scream-singing “Don’t swim alone! Know how to float!” on a loop. The 30-second song is intentionally easy to recall, as Phelps and his furry friends hope that singing along will help families remember the essentials before cannonballing away.
Phelps shared his concerns about unsafe swimming in a PR release about the PSA.
“Water safety has been a priority in my family since I was a child, as my mom was adamant that my sisters and I learn to swim for safety purposes,” he said. “The statistics around accidental drowning are alarming, and we want to help educate and encourage families with a few basic tips in a fun and informative way.”
Drowning is the third-leading cause of accidental death, according to the World Health Organization, with rates highest among kids ages four and under.
The clip is just one part of Nick Jr.’s ongoing water safety campaign with Phelps, who has worked with Zuma, Marshall, and Chase in the past.
If the “Paw Patrol” PSA is your kid’s newest obsession, the series has plenty of related material to dive into. The dogs share more tips in a set of sheets for both kids and adults. It may sound obvious, but putting away distractions like phones and double-checking for swimming barriers can help reduce potential risks in the water. Keeping a watchful eye will be especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as parents will want to be mindful of social distancing on both land and water.
There are also episodes with teachable moments on water safety available online. Some spotlight Zuma, the intrepid chocolate labrador who loves aquatic rescue adventures.
The song also takes off heat from the Canadian show’s more divisive coverage as of late. As HuffPost Canada editor Maija Kappler notes, “Paw Patrol” and other media properties about police forces have been criticized for glorifying law enforcement. Who knows? Maybe this song is our CGI canine companions’ first foray into a career change.
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