Florence YMCA hosts ‘Safety Around Water’ program

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW)- The Florence family YMCA offered a course called Safety Around Water on Saturday. The course is a low-cost program designed to engage and educate parents about the importance of water safety skills for the youth.

The program focuses on reaching under-served communities, with a special emphasis on African-American and Hispanic communities, where risk of drowning among children is highest.Information provided by the Center for disease control says, black children ages 5 to 19 drown in swimming pools at a rate more than five times that of Caucasian children.

“There are so many people that don’t know how to swim,  and every day we are teaching. We have child classes all the way up to adult, and people who want to learn. “said, YMCA Aquatics Director, Cindy Averitt. “I believe that a lot of times, certain fears can be passed down from parents to their kids,”

During the 45 minute course, children will learn how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situation.

“Any time you are around a child with water, it is best they know how to swim,” said one parent, Clifton Graham.  “And when your kid leaves this class, you feel more comfortable knowing that your kid can swim,” he added.

Even though this program registration has ended the YMCA they plan on doing the same thing next year, and does still offer swimming classes year round.