YMCA of Greater Houston Releases Swim Safety Virtual Resources for Families

By: Texana Blacknall
| Published 05/26/2020

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HOUSTON, TX - Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14 in Texas and 24 children have fatally drowned in Texas in 2020. In an effort to eliminate drownings and keep children safe this summer, the YMCA of Greater Houston is launching free virtual swim, learn to swim and water safety videos as part of its Safety Around Water program. The series will include more than 15 episodes featuring swim demonstrations for preschool and school-age children and general water safety tips. With the impact of COVID-19 the Safety Around Water program will look different, however the YMCA is committed to providing necessary resources and keeping families safe this summer.

“Educating our community on water safety and best swim practices has always been a part of the Y’s curriculum and we will continue to respond and reinvent ways to connect with the community and meet needs,” said President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston, Stephen Ives. “Teaching children how to swim and be safe around water is one of the most important life skills parents can help their children learn and we are glad to be a resource for Houston and surrounding area residents.”

Drowning is fast and silent and can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. It is essential to equip children with the tools they need to be confident 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 virtual series is the Y’s response to help curb these tragic and preventable occurrences while access to in-person swim lessons might be hard to accomplish due to COVID-19.

The virtual swim series videos include:

- Preschool learn to swim series – Features how to introduce children to water, exhale in the water, submerge underwater, and techniques for the back and front float
- School age learn to swim series – Features how to acclimate children to water, breathing and submersion techniques and how to teach the back float, front float and back glide.
- Water safety series – Features life jacket and flotation safety, understanding that any depth of water is dangerous, pool safety checklist, the importance of having a 'water watcher,' water rescue skills and the basics of CPR, and ways to help prevent drowning.

YMCA of Greater Houston will return to private lessons in later phases as part of our phased reopening approach. The organization will announce reopening of programs and amenities at a later date. For more information about the YMCA of Greater Houston’s Safety Around Water program and to access the videos, visit https://www.ymcahouston.org/programs/swimming/drowning-elimination or follow the organization on Facebook @YMCAHouston and Instagram @YMCAHouston.

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