Safety Around Water
Roy Blunt YMCA of Bolivar- Your ears will not prevent your child from drowning. There won’t be splashing or thrashing or coughing sounds. There will just be silence. The event will happen so quickly that later you will say, “They were just there.”
Preventing drownings requires constant attention around water—it doesn’t matter if it’s a tub, a pool or a lake. Your attention is the most important factor in saving children from drowning deaths.
Another tool to keep kids safe is to teach them to swim. In fact, the Y pioneered the development of group swimming lessons over one hundred years ago. They continue to teach over a million kids how to swim each year.
In 2015 the Ozarks Regional YMCA was one of six Y’s in the U.S. to receive a grant titled Safety Around Water. The program was tremendously successful and the grant has been extended into 2016.
Safety Around Water is similar to swimming lessons, but is specifically directed at preventing drowning. Over eight lessons, the kids learn skills that can keep them safe in an area filled with lakes and streams and pools.
They learn when they fall in to “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and to “Swim, Float, Swim.” They learn confidence in and around water. They even learn what to do when someone else needs help in the water so that they don’t get in trouble themselves.
Last year we were able to instruct 200 kids in Bolivar, Buffalo and Springfield in these potentially life-saving skills. In the United States, on average, two children drown every day. We are grateful to play a part in improving that number.