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. Each year, roughly 7 children died in Connecticut due to drowning. 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 percent of African American children cannot swim, compared to 45 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children. Additionally, 79 percent 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, the Y is focused on Safety Around Water, to engage parents about the importance of water safety skills.
At the Middlesex, financial assistance is available through our OPEN DOORS Program based on household income. https://www.midymca.org/financial-assistance
In YMCA swim lessons valuable skills are taught like what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly, a situation every child should be equipped to handle.
More than a million people, from toddlers to adults, take advantage of at the Y’s Swim Programs in more than 2,000 pools across the country. Here in Middletown, CT the Y teaches 2,500 swim lessons each year. 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. Swim Lessons can provide a new, exciting way to keep active and meet new friends.
To learn more about swim lessons at the YMCA www.midymca.org/swim-lessons