SAVING LIVES TOGETHER
YMCA and First 5 Riverside County Partner
Up To Reduce Child Accidental Drowning
The YMCA of Riverside County will partner with First 5 Riverside, the Riverside County Children & Families Commission, to offer children under the age of 5, from low-income and under-served communities, free drowning prevention classes and swim lessons. The lessons teach young people valuable skills like what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly – a situation every child should be equipped to handle.
The program is designed to reach parents and their children (ages 0-5) to teach them water safety skills, reducing the risk of drowning. If the child is under the age of 5 and cannot jump into the water and safely exit the pool on their own, or has not received formal swim instruction, they may be qualified to receive free instruction. Funding will be provided by First 5 Riverside County and operated by the YMCA of Riverside County at a local pool in the City of Riverside.
Water safety can often be overlooked when teaching young children basic life skills. In 2014, four children in Riverside County died due to drowning and thirty-eight were involved in near-drowning incidents. In a June 2015 statement by County Supervisor John J. Benoit, he spoke to the severity of drowning for children 0-5 in Riverside County. “Drowning is the leading cause of death among children under the age of five, in our county and across California. We must do a better job protecting our children and we can only do that by engaging the entire community. Drowning IS preventable.”
The YMCA has been nationally recognized for its Safety Around Water program which teaches breathing techniques, controlling buoyancy, and opening your eyes under water as part of the curriculum. The classes will be open to the public starting in March and will conclude in August 2016 – having served an estimated 600 children and 300 parents.
For more information and updates about this program, subscribe to Y News below!
Read the official press release here.