Why Water Safety Matters

May 01, 2018


As we observe National Water Safety Month this May, it's a great time for parents to remember the importance of equipping children with essential water safety skills."

There are a few skills that all parents know to teach their children: looking both ways before crossing the street, washing your hands with soap and water, or eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day.

But for too many parents, safety in and around water is not on the list, and that’s something we need to change. To help, we're asking all parents and adult to take the Water Watcher pledge and to help spread the word about this pledge to others to help keep kids safe around the water. Click here for more water safety tips, and click here to enroll in swim lessons at the Y.

Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old. The problem is particularly acute among minority communities. African American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts. The disparity is partly due to the lack of swimming experience among these children.

According to a recent national research study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis, 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, compared to just 40 percent of Caucasian children.

The Y is committed to reducing water-related injuries, particularly in communities where children are most at risk. These classes are just one of the many swim programs that millions of people from toddlers to adults take advantage of at the Y’s more than 2,200 pools across the country.

If you know how to stay safe in and around water, swimming can be a lifelong source of fun and exercise. Instead of keeping your children away from water, help them learn fundamental water safety skills by enrolling them in lessons. These classes can provide them a new, exciting way to keep active and meet new friends.