On the soundtrack of summer fun, a day at the pool is a well-known track. Kids shrieking amidst laughter, water splashing, shouts of, “Marco” and the familiar echo of “Polo” to follow. But the quintessential element that allows for the joyous sounds of water fun flies under the radar – water safety.

Water safety should be practiced, emphasized, and understood by parents and children alike to keep summer free of accidents, unnecessary risks, and preventable deaths.

Girl swimming

During National Water Safety Month, let’s turn up the volume on water safety skills so that all can feel confident and calm in and around water. At the Y, we believe everyone should have the chance to learn how to stay safe around water.

The senate acknowledges the importance of this initiative, naming May 2018 as California YMCA Safety Around Water Month.

First, let’s face the facts. Drowning poses a threat to the health and well-being of people nationwide, particularly among children.

Drowning kills 2 children every day. In California, drowning is the leading cause of injury related death for children under 5. Low income youth are particularly at risk. In fact, 79 percent of children from low income families have no/low swimming ability. Most concerning, is the fact that 87 percent of youth who have no swimming ability said they plan to go swimming this summer.

In the past, parents hoped to minimize risk for their child by keeping them away from water. The reality is that the best way to keep your child safe is to prepare them with water safety skills. Many parents don’t put their children in water safety lessons because of lack of access to water, culture, family history or a general lack of knowledge on the importance of water safety.

The Y has been a leading source of water skills since 1909. We are proud to be the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and develop life-saving skills. Enjoy the water with confidence this summer, learn more now.