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Drowning Prevention


Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 14, claiming the lives of three children every day. At the Y, we believe a child’s safety in and around water should never be left to chance. Taking part in formal water safety classes reduces the risk of drowning among children and provides both education and awareness.


Research finds two primary factors for children not learning to swim: the parent’s ability and attitude toward swimming and the socio-economic conditions of the child’s community. Safety Around Water is the Y’s on-site water safety program that engages low-income youth living in local apartment communities where pools are often without lifeguards.


The 8-session Safety Around Water course, taught by certified YMCA swim instructors and lifeguards, teaches children basic water safety and swimming skills that reduce their risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. Since the program launched in 2015, it has served more than 4,500 children across 30 local apartment communities.


Read the 2020 Safety Around Water Overview

Safety Around Water
For Social Responsibility

Funding & Support

Safety Around Water is free for participants. The program is fully funded by individual gifts, corporate donations and grants. When you fund a YMCA Safety Around Water site, you partner with us to bring life-saving skills to communities and families who need us most. Every dollar donated stays local and helps provide a high impact program that saves lives.

Swimsuit & Towel Donations

Many of the kids who participate in Safety Around Water have never been in a swimming pool and do not own swimsuits or beach towels. They arrive the first day of the program wearing jean shorts and don’t have anything to dry off with when they get out of the pool. Donations of swimsuits and towels give kids the confidence and proper swimwear they need to focus on learning life-saving skills.

Volunteer Opportunities

At the Y, we believe that when people come together for a common cause, the whole community is strengthened. When you volunteer with Safety Around Water, you have the opportunity to share your time with kids who need it most. Volunteer opportunities include: supporting YMCA swim instructors as a teaching aid, bringing a nourishing snack to share, and distributing marketing materials at the apartment communities we serve.