There is a list of basic life skills all parents instinctively know they must teach their children to keep them safe and healthy. It includes habits like looking both ways before you cross the street, washing your hands with soap and water and eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day.
For too many parents, safety in and around water is not on the list; and that’s something we need to change.
Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old. Last year, 10 children died in South Carolina due to drowning, ranking SC in the top three states in drowning deaths. The problem is particularly acute in minority communities. 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.
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.
To learn more about the YMCA of Greenville’s Aquatic programs, including swim lessons, please call (864) 412-0288 or visit: ymcagreenville.org/aquatics If you would like to donate to the YMCA of Greenville visit: ymcagreenville.org/give