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YMCAs Urge Swim Safety and Water Wise. Safe Swimming Saves Lives

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YMCAs Urge Swim Safety and Water Wise.

Safe Swimming Saves Lives

 

Swimming is among the most enjoyable and beneficial physical activities in a kid’s life but also a very dangerous activity.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two will be children aged 14 or younger.

Many drowning deaths are preventable. This nightmare is too real for many Texas families. The YMCA of Greater Houston is working to prevent these deaths by informing Texas families about the importance of water safety.

Consider this:

  • 82 kids drowned in Texas last year
  • As of May, 12 children have drowned in Texas so far this year, three of those occurred in Harris county
  • Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4
  • Over the past nine years, one-third of Texas drownings happened in the Houston area

 

Eighty percent of the drowning deaths occur between May and September. YMCAs urge swim safety for children and encourage families to be vigilant as they head toward the water during the summer months..

 

In the time it takes to cross a room or pool deck for a towel –  10 seconds – a child can be submerged.

  -In the time it takes to answer a phone – 2 minutes – a child can lose consciousness.

  -In the time it takes to answer the door – 4 to 6 minutes – a child submerged can sustain permanent brain damage.

Children drown silently and quickly – in a matter of seconds. Adults present when a child drowns are often distracted in some way – talking on the phone, chatting with other adults etc . . .

 

The important message is to never leave a child alone near a pool, spa, bathtub, toilet, bucket or any standing water in which a child’s nose or mouth may be submerged. (One inch of water that cover’s a child’s mouth and nose can cause drowning.) A drowning can happen anywhere.

 

The YMCA has outlined several important precautionary measures that should be taken to ensure children’s safety around water. Additional information is available at www.ymcahouston.org.

  • Create layers of protection between the water and your children: Proper fencing and gates around pools, sturdy pool coverings, install alarms on doors and windows that lead to the pool and have rescue equipment mounted by the pool.
  • Proper parental or adult supervision at all times. Provide “reach supervision” – always be within arm’s reach of a child who isn’t an experienced swimmer.
  • When there are several adults present and children are swimming, designate an “on-duty” adult to ensure supervision at all times.
  • Stress the importance of never swimming alone
  • Swim safety lessons for all children who will be exposed to water.
  • Learn to swim: If you get tired, knowing that you can turn over and float on your back to catch a breath, may mean the difference between life and death.
  • Let someone know when you are going to swim
  • Never swim in a pool that you cannot see the bottom
  • Posting and enforcement of pool rules
  • Be ready for an emergency; have the proper water rescue devices, a first-aid preparedness kit and be able to perform CPR. Never try to go into the water to save someone. Use something that you can reach the victim with like a noodle, pool buoy, pole etc . . .
  • Have phone access near the water area.

 

The YMCA, America’s Favorite Swim Instructor, has been teaching children and adults to swim for more than 100 years. The Y invented group swim lessons! Learning to Swim at the YMCA is more than just stroke development, techniques and skills. Classes are divided into ability groups and trained instructors emphasize personal safety, swimming skills, endurance and social skills while guiding students with praise and encouragement. FUN with a Splash of Confidence!

 

The South Montgomery County YMCA offers swim lessons throughout the summer and all year long. The Summer Swim Program includes Parent/Child classes for ages 6 – 36 months, Pre-School classes for ages 3 – 5 years, and Youth classes for children ages 6 years and older.  The YMCA also has classes available for adults.  Weekday Morning and evening classes meet Monday – Thursday for 2 weeks. Classes are 30 minutes in length.  Saturday classes are also available.  For those swimmers who need individual attention, private lessons are available. In addition to swim lessons, the Y also offers swim-float-swim, stroke booster class, youth swim league, youth swim team, masters swim, lifeguard training and water aerobics classes. The summer sessions continue now through August 14. YMCA Swim lessons are offered at Branch Crossing YMCA, Shadowbend YMCA and Oak Ridge North City Pool.

 

Swimming is a life skill that all children should have the chance to learn. Safe swimming saves lives. The YMCA strives to turn no one away for the inability to pay. Financial assistance is available to families that substantiate a need, based on available resources.  The YMCA is committed to providing programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for everyone.

 

For more information on Y Swim Lessons and other YMCA Classic Summer Fun programs, please call the South Montgomery County YMCAs in The Woodlands at 281-367-9622 or visit
www.ymcahouston.org/south-montgomery-county

 

 

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