DARKE COUNTY – Each year, drownings or near-drownings remain a high risk for children as summer begins. The YMCA of Darke County is once again offering water safety classes to the community.
“Swim Safely with Dory” is the theme of 2019’s annual Safety Around Water program at the YMCA of Darke County. The annual program is sponsored by The Daily Advocate and The Early Bird, the Wayne Healthcare Foundation, The Versailles Policy, Alvetro Orthodontics, and the Greenville Rotary Club.
Last year’s program served more than 250 children.
Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old. During the safety course, children will learn how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situations — from how to reach the water’s surface if they submerge to safely reaching a pool’s edge or exiting any body of water. Through Safety Around Water, parents and caregivers will be encouraged to help their children learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills.
“All children deserve access to water safety resources and Safety Around Water is a great starting point to not only get kids comfortable in the water, but also develop a love of swimming,” said Sam Casalano, CEO, YMCA of Darke County. “In many underserved communities, staying safe around water means keeping kids away from water, but water safety and swimming are important life skills that need fostering in all children”
Most of the sessions are for children who have completed grades K- 6. Other sessions serve children ages 3 to 5 who participate with their parents. Although there is no fee to participate, children are required to register. Forms are available at area schools and are being printed in The Daily Advocate and The Early Bird. A printable version of the registration form is also available with this story at earlybirdpaper.com. Registrations include a preferred-time option, but sessions are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
The first classes will be offered at the Versailles branch June 2 and 3. The Greenville branch will hold its classes June 7-9. Each class is approximately 45-minutes in length. Class curriculum includes pool safety, backyard pool safety, boating safety, beach safety, basic swimming skills and basic rescue skills.
Families interested in learning more about Safety Around Water and how to enroll their child in local Y swimming and water safety classes should visit either the Darke County Y or go to www.ymcadarkcounty.org.
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.