LIVINGSTON, NJ — Renewing its longstanding commitment to ending childhood drowning, the West Essex YMCA will host its week-long swim program “Safety Around the Water” beginning on April 24, providing Livingston’s youth with the opportunity to participate in swim lessons that will help kids learn essential water safety tips.

During the five-day course, children will learn how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situations. The certified instructors will teach children how to stay safe with water skills ranging from how to reach the water’s surface if they submerge to safely reaching a pool’s edge or exiting any body of water.

According to West Essex YMCA Aquatic Director Scott Weber, two children die every day as a result of drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14, he said.

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“The West Essex YMCA and Metro YMCA’s of the Oranges association has pledged to continue this free swim safety program to help keep children safe in the pool this summer,” said Weber. “Education, awareness, and practice in the water can help make a positive impact on the totally preventable problem of childhood drowning.”

Weber added that this program serves children of all ages and adults. He also said the Y staff loves to see entire families participate in making themselves safer together. 

Each of the five classes will include swim practice, water safety skills practice, and discussion of different safety topics.

“If you don’t have access to swim instruction, whatever your circumstance, please come to the YMCA,” said Weber. “It is our mission to help protect you and your family so everyone can have fun and be safe this summer.”

As an organization dedicated to building safe and healthy communities, the Y believes all children deserve the opportunity to learn to swim. Visit http://www.metroymcas.org/west-essex-ymca/safety-around-water-week and bring the form to 321 South Livingston Ave in Livingston to register, or email sweber@metroymcas.org.