SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – As the summer season kicks off, the Capital District YMCA is advising swimmers and parents to exercise extra precaution when playing poolside.
As temperatures soar, so will the number of people jumping into water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death for children under the age of 4. An estimated 3,500 people drown each year nationwide, a high number of them being children.
In their effort to decrease these incidences, the YMCA has launched Splash, a water safety initiative that teaches children the importance being safe while having fun whether they are enjoying time in the pool, heading to a water park or spending time at the lake.
"We'll have in-water skills, as well as land skills to really make sure kids are safe this summer," said Cheryl Hardcastle, Regional Aquatics Director for the YMCA. "This is our second year doing this and what we found last year was that of the 200 kids we brought over, the majority of them would say they knew how to swim, but they didn't once we saw them actually get in the water."
The summer kick-off event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday, will bring about 65 fourth-graders from Hamilton Hill Elementary School to the Schenectady High School Pool for a day of water safety demonstrations and activities. The workshops will run for two weeks, drawing more than 250 children during that period, in the hope of teaching these safety tips at a young enough age for them to become habit.
"Splash encourages awareness of not just pool safety, but water safety," said Erin Breslin, Capital District YMCA spokesperson. "We know that knowledge encourages a change in behavior and many kids don't have a knowledge of how to be safe in and around water."
To test your water safety knowledge, take the Capital District YMCA Water Safety Challenge Quiz here: http://www.cdymca.org/socialresponsibility/water/water-quiz.aspx.
Basic Water Safety Tips for Parents:
Basic Water Safety Tips to teach Children:
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