Summer has officially graced us with her long-awaited presence, a season that means longer days of fun at amusement parks, days at the beach, and swimming pools for families.
For others, it’s a reminder of tragedy the summer can bring.
Just this month, five children ranging from the ages of 2 to 5 were reported dead after drowning in backyard and community pools. The tragic accidents have similar narratives — unattended children are left to wander near pools alone. Without the proper supervision, the children — who in most cases do not know how to swim — panic and drown.
A recent survey by USA Swimming reveals that nearly 40 percent of White children have little-to-no swimming abilities. But the staggering percentage seems minuscule when compared to the 70 percent of Black children who cannot swim. Sixty percent of Hispanic children face the same worry.
This summer, the YMCA plans to change that with their National Water Safety Program.
Speaking with NewsOne, Philadelphia’s Christian Street Aquatic Director Janet Wright discussed the importance of water safety and how it can make a difference for you and your family this summer.
The program, which kicked off in May, plans to school children as young as six months on swimming and basic water safety tips. Over 13,000 scholarships for free lessons will be given to children in the inner city areas throughout the country.