Community Program Teaches Basic Swim Skills & Water Safety Awareness

Shrewsbury, NJ – As swim season approaches, The Community YMCA encourages parents and guardians to take an active role in their children’s water safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of 14.

“Teaching children how to swim and be safe around water reduces the risk of drowning,” said Rhonda Anderson, President and CEO of The Community YMCA.

To help ensure safety around water, The Community YMCA invites local residents to participate in Learn-to-Swim Week, Monday, June 20 – Friday, June 24. Offered to first-time participants who have little or no swimming ability, the water safety program includes five lessons at a nominal fee of $15 for kids and adults. Participants do not need to be Y members, but must register in advance at the Family Health & Wellness Center, located at 166 Maple Avenue in Red Bank.

“Learn-to-Swim Week is a great opportunity for our community to learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills that can help prevent dangerous situations and save lives,” Anderson said.

The Learn-to-Swim Week program introduces beginners to the aquatic environment, teaches basic learn-to-swim skills and increases water safety awareness for families, said Barry Martin, The Community YMCA’s Vice President of Health, Wellness and Camping.

The nation’s leader in swim instruction, the Y teaches more than a million children across the country invaluable water safety and swimming skills every year. Locally, The Community YMCA offers a variety of aquatics programs throughout the year, including swim lessons for children as young as six months, family swim time and competitive swimming at two locations – the Family Health & Wellness Center in Red Bank and the Lass Aquatics Center at Camp Zehnder in Wall.

In addition, to the Learn-to-Swim program, The Community YMCA provides free swim lessons to all third graders in Red Bank during the school year to help prepare them for a fun and safe summer around water.

Following are safety tips for all to practice when in and around the water:

    Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
    Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.
    Inexperienced and non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
    Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.
    Children and adults should not engage in breath-holding activities.

Families interested in learning more about Learn-to-Swim Week and how to enroll their children in Y swimming and water safety classes should visit www.TheCommunityYMCA.org or call 732.741.2504.

Photo Caption: Gabriel Stingo practices his kicking in the Y’s community Learn-to-Swim Week program. This year’s  program will take place June 20-24 at the Family Health & Wellness Center in Red Bank.