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Water Safety

Posted on: 05.21.2018

Keep Your Kids Safe in and Around Water this Summer

There is a list of basic life skills all parents instinctively know they must teach their children to keep them safe and healthy. It includes habits like looking both ways before crossing the street, washing your hands with soap and water, and eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day.

For too many parents, safety in and around water is not on the list; and that’s something we need to change.

Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years old. The problem is particularly acute among minority communities. For example, African American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts. The disparity is partly due to the lack of swimming experience among these children.

According to a 2017 national research study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation with the University of Memphis and University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 64% of African American children cannot swim, compared to 45% of Hispanic children and 40% of Caucasian children. Additionally, 79% of children in families with household income less than $50,000 have no/low swimming ability.

The Y is committed to reducing water-related injuries, particularly in communities where children are most at risk. During National Water Safety Month this May, registration begins for Safety Around Water, a program to engage parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more children access to water safety lessons.

The lessons teach young people valuable skills like what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly, a situation every child should be equipped to handle.

Through Safety Around Water, the Y hopes to further bridge cultural and access gaps that can prevent some children from learning important water safety skills. 

If children know how to stay safe in and around water, swimming can be a lifelong source of fun and exercise. Instead of keeping your children away from water, help them learn fundamental water safety skills. These classes can provide a new, exciting way to keep active and meet new friends.

To learn more about the Y’s Safety Around Water program and session dates, please visit ymca-snoco.org/programs/swimming/watersafety