Swim Lessons Prepare Kids and Families for Summer at the Shore

Red Bank, NJ – Over 150 first-time swimmers, including youth, teens and adults, learned swimming and water safety last week as part of the Y’s Learn-to-Swim Week, June 20-24, at the Y’s Family Health & Wellness Center in Red Bank. The 5-day program was offered to residents at a reduced fee ($15 for five lessons) to assist area families in preparing children for being safe around the water during the summer months. Learn-to-Swim Week is a national YMCA initiative designed to introduce the aquatic environment to beginners, teach basic learn-to-swim skills and increase water safety awareness for families.

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Youth swimmers, ages 5-8, learn swimming and water safety skills at the Y, June 20-24.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14, and more than half of all drownings among children ages 1-4 are pool related. For every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

To combat these statistics, the Y is committed to providing swimming and water safety instruction to all children and adults in the community.

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Preschoolers, Brooke Luciano, 5, and Danielle Dam, 4, await their turn to cross the pool.

“With our location and families living so close to the shore, we want to make sure residents of all ages have the opportunity to learn basic swimming and water safety before the summer,” said Rebecca Rivera, the Y’s Aquatics Director. “Learn-to-Swim Week encourages area families to make safety a top priority.”

To prepare families for a summer at the shore, The Community YMCA offers the following water safety tips for children and adults:

  • ·Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone
  • ·Adults should constantly watch children in and near the water. If multiple adults are in the vicinity, designate a “water watcher” so everyone knows who is “on duty.”
  • ·Install proper fencing and gates around pools, alarms on doors or windows that lead to the pool, and have rescue equipment mounted nearby.
  • ·Inexperienced swimmers should take precaution and wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (PFD) when in, on, or around the water.
  • ·Children who are beginners should stay within an arm’s reach of an adult in the water.

“Knowing how to be safe in and around water helps kids feel proud and confident, and they will use that knowledge for the rest of their lives,” said Rivera.

Learn-to-Swim Week is an annual community outreach initiative provided by the Y. The program is made possible through the generosity of local donors who contribute to the Community YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

To learn more about the Y’s swimming and water safety programs for youth and adults, visit www.TheCommunityYMCA.org.