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Stay safe in the water


For Immediate Release


Teresa Kutt

YMCA of Metropolitan Denver

720 524 2724




Memorial Day Weekend Brings More People to Water and More Need for Water Safety


Stay safe year-round with tips from the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver


[DENVER, May 19, 2015] – Memorial Day marks the start of summer water fun. With the return to outdoor pools and to lakes and rivers rushing with Colorado’s melting snow comes the increased need for precautions in and around the water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14. The fatal drowning rate of African- American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range. Drowning is also among the leading causes of death of individuals with autism, according to the National Autism Association.

“When there is a need for safety like this in our communities, the Y responds,” said Jim Hiner, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver. During summertime and year-round, the YMCA offers these tips and resources for safety in and around the water.

Be aware. When swimming, parents are urged to get in the water with their young children and stay within arm’s reach. Children who are old enough to swim on their own should be actively watched and should swim only when and where a lifeguard is on duty. Parents can also have their children “tested” by the lifeguard to ensure they have basic swimming skills and can swim strong independently.

Review and follow pool rules. Children should understand and follow pool rules and lifeguard orders. In addition, they should know their abilities and limits and be taught not to take chances with going in too deep or playing breath-holding games.

Take swim lessons. Research shows that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children 1 to 4 years of age. Swim lessons teach participants how to tread water, move in the water, and do basic strokes, building skills and confidence that can be the difference between life and death. The YMCA offers swim lessons at outdoors community pools across the metro area and at our four branches in University Hills, Littleton, Southwest Denver, and Arvada.

Learn more about the Y’s aquatics programs. Every June, the Y provides a five-day SPLASH program for children that teaches basic water safety, introductory swimming and rescue skills. The Y also offers an aquatics-based Autism Respite Program that gives kids with autism an opportunity to move and exercise in the pool and increase their comfort and familiarity in the water, which can help keep them safe.

The Y removes the barriers many people experience when trying to access not only life-saving water safety information, but also learning opportunities, food and nutrition programs, better health, and safe places for kids after school and during summer breaks. “We’re here to fill critical gaps in available services and resources that children, individuals, and families need to thrive,” Hiner said. “We’re here for everyone, so that everyone can reach their fullest potential.”

For more information about water safety and all YMCA programs to create safe places for children through swim lessons, swim teams, sports, activities, day camps, and childcare, visit www.denverymca.org.


About the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver

A leading non-profit, the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver brings together over 68,000 children, teens, members, and volunteers in a shared commitment to strengthen community. Through a variety of programs and services, we promote youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility throughout Denver and at our five locations in Arvada, Littleton, Southwest Denver, University Hills, and downtown. We are one of 2,700 YMCA organizations nationwide, collectively helping more than 21 million people learn, grow, and thrive. To join, donate, or get more information, visit www.denverymca.org.