LIVINGSTON, NJ — The world is 71 percent water, and children are 100 percent curious. The West Essex YMCA's Safety Around Water Week, a free program designed to engage and educate parents about the importance of water safety skills and provide more of America’s youth access to swim lessons, will be offered this year from June 24 through June 28.

Know the facts: 

Two children die every day from drowning, which is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years old. Eighty-eight percent of kids who drown are under adult supervision and 60 percent are within 10 feet of safety. 

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The problem is particularly acute among minority communities. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 64 percent of African American children cannot swim, compared to 45 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children. The disparity is partly due to the lack of swimming experience among these children.

Through Safety Around Water at the West Essex Y, parents and caregivers are encouraged to help their children learn fundamental water safety and swimming skills. During the five-day 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.

The Y is committed to reducing water-related injuries, particularly in communities where children are most at risk. If children know how to stay safe in and around water, swimming can be a lifelong source of fun and exercise. Instead of keeping your children away from water, help them learn fundamental water safety skills.

These classes can provide a new, exciting way to keep active and meet new friends.  Click here to view and fill out a registration form.