Local YMCAs Stress the Importance of Aquatics Education for Water Safety Month in May

Image via YMCA.
YMCA staff member teaches a child to float as part of a Safety Around Water event last month at the Lionville Community YMCA.

Three children die every day as a result of drowning according to the Center for Disease Control. May is National Water Safety Month and local YMCAs are making sure that every resident has access to quality and affordable water safety resources and instruction.

“Drowning is one of the leading preventable causes of death for children under 14 years old and the leading cause for children ages 1 – 4,” said Katie Doochack, director of aquatic safety at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.

“Children are naturally curious, and the world is filled with water. It is so important that parents have conversations with their children about water safety and follow several basic water safety tips for how to stay safe around water.”

Water does not discriminate – even Olympic swim meets have lifeguards – and it is important to remember that even competent swimmers should follow basic water safety practices.

At YMCA pools, lifeguards go through extensive training where they learn to constantly monitor the pools and perform counts. Additionally, regular drills and audits are performed to ensure that staff are prepared and responsive in the event that a rescue is needed. YMCA swimming lessons start with instruction around foundational skills.

“Our aquatics teams are also full of other great tips,” shares Nicole Bandura, associate executive overseeing aquatics safety and risk management for YMCA of Bucks and Hunterdon Counties.

“I was surprised to learn about how much the color of a swimsuit can aid or hinder a rescue. A blue suit is nearly invisible under churning water while a red, black, or orange suit has much higher visibility. Now, this is one of the first things that I share with parents.”

Participating in formal swimming lessons can help reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88 percent and at the YMCA, the goal is to ensure that everyone has access to quality swimming instruction.

Each year, the YMCA awards millions of dollars of financial assistance to ensure that everyone in the community has equal access to programs and offerings, regardless of their financial situation.

Learn more about YMCA swimming lessons or how you can help Waterproof our community through your local YMCA association or YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s website.

YMCA of Greater Brandywine.

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