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Water Safety is A Must to Prevent Summer Drownings

Kalyn Primus displayed her Swimming and Water Safety Certificates at the East Lake YMCA in 2016. The CDC Infographic breaks down swimming lessons in the US by ethnicity.
Kiplyn Primus
Kalyn Primus displayed her Swimming and Water Safety Certificates at the East Lake YMCA in 2016. The CDC Infographic breaks down swimming lessons in the US by ethnicity.

The best way to prevent drowning is to learn how to swim. In 2022 Georgia ranked 11th in drowning deaths in our nation. According to the CDC Report, there were around 4,000 accidental drowning deaths in the US in 2019. That jumped to more than 4,500 fatalities annually in 2020, 2021, and 2022 roughly a 10% increase. For children between the ages of 1 and 4, drowning is the leading cause of death according to the CDC. That age group saw a 28% increase in drowning between 2019 and 2022. Adults 65 and older experienced the second-highest rate of drowning. Some experts say the pandemic is part of the challenge the lockdown meant no swimming or lifeguard training classes. Currently, swim lessons are offered at many locations, including the Andrew and Walter Young YMCAother Y’s, and the Atlanta Park and Recreation Natatorium. There is even a non-profit the Hope Floats Foundation that provides vouchers for swimming lessons. I reached out to Adrienne Montgomery a swim teacher at my childhood YMCA on Campbellton Road now the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA to share with us about water safety and provide some resources.

I asked Montgomery to share what Water Safety means for young people. She speaks about horseplay including the age-old “How long can you hold your breath underwater?” She cautions that no child should swim alone without adult supervision. She recommends hiring a lifeguard for pool parties or assigning responsible parents to be pool watchers.

When obtaining swim lessons I asked what parents should know. Montgomery encourages parents to speak with other parents about lessons. Parents should verify that the classes are age and skill-appropriate for their child.

Montgomery encourages adults to take swimming lessons. She explains that the water can allow for fuller movement. Things you cannot do on land become easy with the help of the water. Swimming is a “life skill” that uses all of the muscles in the body including the heart.

For Swim Lesson Vouchers go to Hope Floats Foundation

For Swim Lessons at the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA

For Swim Lessons through Atlanta Park and Recreation

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