Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5 through 14, and African-American children are three times as likely to drown as their white peers, according to the Akron Area YMCA, which announces the #AkronSwims initiative. This effort will match donations dollar for dollar up to $1,000 through the end of April to offer free water safety training to area children.
Akron Swims also is supported by Akron Community Foundation, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Public Schools and Akron Recreation Bureau, and the YMCA aims to provide “Safety Around Water” training to all Akron Public Schools children through 4th grade. The program helps kids become adjusted to being in the water, along with teaching them what to do when they unexpectedly find themselves in water, or what to do if they see someone else in water who needs help.
According to the YMCA:
- $100 will help one child fully participate in the program;
- $50 will help purchase the appropriate swim goggles, towel and bathing suit for one child to participate; and
- $25 will help purchase a bathing suit for one child in the program.
So far, more than $20,000 has been raised toward the YMCA’s $50,000 goal.
For children, even being near adults while in water sometimes isn’t enough to ensure safety. The YMCA points out that 88 percent of kids who drown do so under adult supervision and 60 percent of kids who drown are within 10 feet of safety.
For more info about Akron Swims, visit akronswims.org.
The Akron Area YMCA also is taking registrations for swim lessons this summer. For info, visit akronymca.org/Membership/Register.