The Volusia Flagler Family YMCA’s Safety Around Water Program Helps Keep Volusia County Kids Safe
Free water safety lessons offered during National Water Safety Month May 20 – May 24.
DeLand, FL -, 5/1/2019 – During National Water Safety Month the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA offers Safety Around Water, a free program designed to engage and educate parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more of America’s youth access to water safety lessons. The program focuses on reaching underserved communities with a special emphasis on African American and Hispanic communities, where risk of drowning among children is highest.
According to data from the USA Swimming Foundation, 70 percent of African Americans and 60 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, compared to just 40 percent of Caucasian children. While fatal drowning is a concern for all children – it’s the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years old – African American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts.
Through Safety Around Water, parents and caregivers are encouraged to help their children learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills. During the five-day course, children will learn how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situations — from how to reach the water’s surface if they submerge to safely reaching a pool’s edge or exiting any body of water.
“In many underserved communities, staying safe around water means keeping kids away from water, but water safety and swimming are important life skills that need fostering in all children,” said Ginni Hiers, District Aquatics Director, Volusia Flagler Family YMCA. “Safety Around Water is a great starting point to not only get kids comfortable in the water, but also teach their parents the importance of developing water safety skills.”
The Y introduced the concept of group swim lessons in 1909. Now, each year in more than 2,000 pools across the country, the Y teaches more than a million children from all backgrounds invaluable water safety and swim skills. Here in Volusia County the Y teaches over 2,700 children water safety and swimming each year. 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.
Families interested in learning more about Safety Around Water and how to enroll their child in local Y swimming and water safety classes should visit vfymca.org.
In addition to Safety Around Water the Y offers group swim lessons, private swim lessons, swim leagues and many other wonderful aquatics programs for both children, adults and families.