CLEARFIELD -- For 3-year-old Taygen Zamora, getting a swimming lesson at the Clearfield Aquatic Center was just a fun way to spend his Thursday morning.
However, all his splashing and floating helped set a world record.
Taygen was one of 60 participants, including instructors at the city's pool who were part of The World's Largest Swimming Lesson to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever conducted.
"He doesn't understand the record. He just thinks he gets to go swimming, so he is excited," said Kristin Zamora, Taygen's mom.
Aquatic centers around the world -- from California to Florida and as far away as Zambia, South Africa and Lebanon -- held swimming lessons Thursday to highlight the importance of teaching children to swim and help prevent drowning.
"In Davis County, the leading cause of accidental death in children under 14 is drowning," said Donna Russell, Clearfield Aquatic Center director.
"When they have swimming lessons, it decreases that risk."
During the 40-minute lesson, 10 instructors taught small groups about water safety and basic swimming skills, such as breath control, floating and kicking.
"A 2-year-old will drown with their face down, when all they needed to do is tilt their face back and breath," Russell said.
"It's a learned skill. It's something that should be part of every child's education."
For many of the children this was their first lesson, but those involved hope it won't be their last.
"It is fun, but it builds a life skill," said Natalee Flynn, Clearfield public relations director.
"Some might not have an opportunity for swimming lessons based on cost. This is free today, so if this is all they get, then they have learned something about water safety right before summertime.
"We always hear those sad stories, and we don't want those stories here, or anywhere."
Swim lessons are nothing new for Sharilyn Johnson's children, who are well-acquainted with the Clearfield Aquatic Center.
"My children were thrilled with the idea of helping break a world record," she said. "They have had swim lessons here at Clearfield since they were just babies. They are in the swim team prep class now."
Johnson said she feels better having her children in and near water knowing that they have learned how to swim and be safe around water.
"I broke the world's record for the most people swimming in the world," said Johnson's son, 11-year-old Preston.
"It seems pretty cool, especially for the bragging rights."
Knowing how to swim isn't just about safety, explained Preston's twin brother, Jaden.
"It makes it a lot more fun if you know how to swim," he said. "It's a lot easier to play around in the water."
Being comfortable and confident in the water is another benefit to swim lessons, said Clearfield Aquatic Center swimming instructor Jed Knight.
"Knowing how to swim, you can just have more fun," he said.
"When going off the diving board, after two or three times, they are out of energy when they are not as strong of a swimmer as they could be.
"You can go more distances and feel more comfortable in the water (if you have had lessons)."
Swimming instructor Courtnie Hill, who taught a group of 3- to 5-year-old swimmers, said her young students enjoyed their record-setting lesson.
"At first they were a little scared, but once they warmed up they loved it," she said.
"They were jumping off the stairs and having fun. The younger they have lessons, the faster they pick it up."
Kristine Kinney brought her daughters to the lesson and was happy to see progress made by her youngest, who she said was a little scared of the water.
"My 6-year-old has actually let go of the side of the pool. I am impressed," she said.
"We have a boat, so water safety is huge. I am not a swimmer, and I want them to be able to do better than me."
While most of the participants were young children, a few adults also refreshed their swimming skills.
"I have 19 grandchildren, and I thought it would be good to know some of the basics again so that I can pass this on to them," said Doug Hammond, who is a Syracuse City Council member.
"One of the things I had never done before is closing my mouth and blowing bubbles through my nose. That's fun. I think it's great at my age being able to break a world record."
According to The World's Largest Swimming Lesson website, more than 10,000 children participated in the event, and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, near Orlando, Fla., was designated as the official headquarters.
The slogan for the event is "Swimming Lessons Save Lives." These words were often repeated by the staff at the Clearfield Aquatic Center.
"I hope we have brought awareness to the need for swimming lessons," Russell said.
"It is such an important skill for kids to learn. That is what we do with our program."
All of the center's instructors are Red Cross certified. Lessons are offered for children as young as 3-months-old with the center's parent and child lessons. Regular lessons start at age 3.
"All these young kids have now taken that first step to where they will be proficient in the water," said Fred Henderson, Red Cross Northern Utah Emergency Services director and one of the witnesses for the world record.