Safety Around Water

March 14, 2017

The Earth is

71% Water 

Your Child

is 100%


2017 Safety Around Water Week

For too many of us, safety in and around water is not always a priority, and that's something we need to change. The second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old is fatal drowning. As stated by the Florida Department of Health, Florida loses more children under age five to drowning than any other state.

This problem been found particularly critical among minority communities. African American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white peers. This imbalance is partly due to the lack of swimming experience among these children.

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

At the Y, we are committed to reducing injuries that are water-related, especially in communities where children are most at risk. That's why the YMCAs of Tampa Bay, the Rays FoundationJWB of Pinellas, the Children's Board of Hillsborough County and the United Way of the Suncoast are teaming up to Be Water Smart from the Start. Our program will be entering its third year of teaching children and adults the importance of safety around water. 

What is Safety Around Water?

Through learning how to perform a sequenced set of skills over eight lessons of 40 minutes each, the risk of drowning is reduced and gives your child confidence in and around water.

A typical YMCA swim safety session includes:

  • Exercises to help kids adjust to being in water
  • Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim,” two skill sets kids can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water
  • Specific safety topics like actions to take when you see someone in the water who needs help
  • Fun activities to reinforce skills

Help Keep Your Children Safe
Drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. But, as a parent or caregiver, you can’t keep your children sidelined. Equipping them with the tools they need will bring them confidence in and around water so they don’t lose out on the health benefits of exercise, the opportunities to bond with family and friends and the sense of accomplishment when they learn new skills. The Y encourages parents to take an active role in their child’s safety by ensuring they learn how to swim and by practicing these safety tips when in and around the water: