Summer is here which means kids of all ages will be spending plenty of time at the pool. That is why the YMCA teaches thousands of kids to swim each year. Senior Manager of Aquatics at the YMCA of the USA, Lindsay Mondick, joined Inside South Florida to tell us about how they promote water safety.
“Children are curious about their environment and water is no exception,” says Mondick. “You pair that with the fact that drowning is a silent killer. Most people don't understand that drowning happens and really what drowning looks like.”
Drowning disproportionately affects marginalized communities, which is why the YMCA believes teaching children how to be safe in and around the water is a necessity and not a luxury.
“The program teaches basic swimming and water safety skills to help kids should they ever find themselves accidentally in the water,” says Mondick. “Children of color statistically have higher drowning rates so it's really geared towards underserved kids who don't otherwise have access to swimming lessons. The program is offered for families across the United States at free or a minimum cost.”
One of the most important lessons learned in the program is teaching the kids to always ask for permission.
“Teaching a child that they need to ask permission before going near or in the water is a key skill because they need supervision,” says Mondick. “It's a small skill, but one of the important skills. The other skills are teaching a child how to do their back float and front float and how to make forward progress to get themselves to safety.”
For more information, visit ymca.org
This Inside South Florida segment is paid for by YMCA