When it comes to swimming and water safety, the YMCA is known as America's Swim Instructor. The YMCA has been a pioneer in swim lessons for over 100 years! We consider it our priority to prevent drowning and improve community health by cultivating physical, cognitive, and social-emotional well-being through swimming.
Each year in the U.S., more than 3,600 people die as a result of drowning — 10 per day nationwide. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death for children under age 5 and is one of the top 3 causes of death for people under 30. More children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects. For those who survive near-fatal drowning incidents, about half require some sort of long-term care.
There is hope because drowning is preventable, and your Sherwood YMCA is here to help. The most common cause of drowning is simply not knowing how to swim and 50% of children under age 2 have never been in the water. Participating in a Learn-to-Swim program can reduce a child's risk of drowning by 88%. This year it is even more critical to get young children into the water since many pools in Oregon have been severely limited by the effects of the pandemic.
In 2015, the YMCA introduced the Safety Around Water (S.A.W.) initiative nationwide. This initiative has exercises to help kids adjust to being in water. S.A.W introduced two benchmark skills: "swim, float, swim" and "jump, push, turn, grab." These are skill sets that people can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in water. These skills are also built into the larger YMCA Learn-to-Swim curriculum and are practiced in each level along with fun activities that reinforce skills. In addition, we talk about safety issues like what kids can do if they see someone in the water who needs help. Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Safety Around Water can help children learn essential water safety skills, which can open up a world of possibilities for them to satisfy their curiosity safely
Here in Sherwood, we are here, we are open, and we are ready to receive swimmers of all ages and help them take steps toward water safety and swimming proficiency. This fall, we are returning to our YMCA Learn-to-Swim levels, which includes the Safety Around Water (S.A.W.) initiative. We have programs beginning as young as 6 months and then continuing all the way up through adulthood. Our goal is to keep people safe by teaching them life-saving skills, drowning prevention, and stroke improvement.
The world is 71% water. Children are 100% curious. Your YMCA is here to help.
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