A quick search on Google and the statistics are everywhere. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages four through 11. Even more shocking, 60% of those who drown are only 10 feet from safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die from drowning in the United States each day. The good news? Drowning is 100% preventable. In fact, the USA Foundation says participating in formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among one to four year olds. That’s why the YMCA is taking action in the Lafayette community by introducing a free water safety program for all community third graders.
Fully funded by private donors, the Lafayette Family YMCA Scheumann’s Safety Around Water 3rd Grade Initiative is based on a program originally developed by the YMCA on a national level. It is designed to empower children with the training they need to react instinctively if confronted by a threatening water situation. Classes focus on safety more than form. Participating in the program will give kids the foundation they need to enjoy the lifelong benefits water offers from health and exercise to bonding with family and friends.
Before children can enjoy playing and exercising in water, they need to be taught basic water safety. In the free water safety program, trained YMCA instructors will teach local third graders these important life-saving techniques in a fun and exciting learning environment.
Enrollment is free and open to the 700+ third graders attending any of the eight Lafayette School Corporation elementary schools. Parents are encouraged to sign their children up for the free water safety program that will be held at the YMCA’s 18th Street location. The first of 12 weekly sessions will meet on Monday, February 20, and additional classes will be scheduled throughout the year.
In a typical class session, students will discuss important water safety topics, such as what to do if you see someone in the water who needs help and how to get to safety. Instructors will also introduce exercises designed to help students adjust to being in water and teach them two different strategies to use if they are ever unexpectedly in water, “Jump, Push, Turn Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim.”
The free water safety program has been fully funded by the private donations of longtime patrons of the Lafayette area. John and June Scheumann, Indiana State Senator Ron Alting of Lafayette, and Trane have all generously contributed to create an opportunity for children in the Lafayette community to participate in the free water safety program.
The Lafayette Family YMCA Scheumann’s Safety Around Water 3rd Grade Initiative is another way the YMCA can carry out its Christian principles, mission, and values. Through the implementation of these important programs, the YMCA empowers youths to be healthier in spirit, mind, and body.
With such a high rate of drowning among American children, being proactive when it comes to educating kids about water safety is more important than ever. The free water safety program for third graders at the Lafayette Family YMCA offers peace of mind to parents, reduces the risk of drowning, and enables local third graders to feel confident in the water.
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website here.