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Free Swim Classes at the Y Combat Childhood Drowning

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Free lessons will teach five to twelve year olds basic water survival. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Free lessons will teach five to twelve year olds basic water survival. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Thirteen YMCAs in Central Florida, including the South Orlando Center, are offering a free five-day course in water safety for five to 12-year-olds.

YMCA’s Rowdy Gaines is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. He says the most important way to prevent drowning is to swim with a parent or guardian watching.

“The YMCA can do their job and teaching those children how to be safe in the water with highly qualified instructor to do those lessons but it has to be that parent regardless of how good you swim. I won an Olympic gold medal and I don’t swim by myself.”

More information here or visit one of the local YMCA locations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in five people who die from drowning are 14 years old or younger.

For each of these fatalities, another five children receive emergency care for near drowning. 

To listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied journalism at Northwestern University. She covers local and breaking news and is a backup host for "All Things ... Read Full Bio »