Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in Florida? According to statistics from the YMCA enough children in Florida drown each year to fill 4 classrooms. This week I was asked to be a part of the unveiling of a “full court” press initiative put on by the YMCA for water safety and drown prevention. See as the “Y” pointed out at this week’s event, drowning is not just a local problem; it’s a global issue that claims the lives of 360,000 people all around the world each year. In the U.S. alone last year from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014, at least 174 children between the ages of 1 to 14 drowned in swimming pools or spas. The YMCA of South Florida has a mobile team of Aquatics Professionals who will come to your apartment complex and/or neighborhood to offer a free session of swim lessons to provide children and adults with survival skills in the water. This could be the difference between life and death for you or your child. There is no charge to the community for these swim lessons and water safety prevention tips. Last year 1500 kids benefited from these efforts and the “Y” intends to make a greater footprint this year.
I am continually overwhelmed by the good individuals that I get to meet and work with and humbled by the difference these people make personally and professionally for the greater good of all. Swim Central was in attendance at Wednesday morning’s event in Hollywood along with their mascot the Swim Central Duck, there to cheer on swim safety for all of the little ones.
A new aquatic Safety Mobile was acknowledged Wednesday to continue to bring this necessary community solution to life for the YMCA and locals that can really benefit from this endeavor. At the end of this month, May 18-21, four days of free swim lessons are being given by the “Y” for ages 6 months to adult, times vary by location and include 8 different YMCA locations in the South Florida area. As always, I am so grateful to be a part of making a difference and wear my title proudly in order to help raise awareness and promote select causes at any given time, especially when it involves the life of a child.