YMCA trying to reduce youth drownings


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- It feels like summer out there. Many of you are probably heading to the lake, or planning on a swim this weekend. If so, keep a close eye on your kids. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children.

The YMCA of Central Kentucky is trying to change that. Almost 100 kids from Red Oak Elementary in Jessamine Country visited the Whitaker Family YMCA in Lexington Friday.

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They took part in Central Kentucky Swims, an annual primer on water safety skills.

“I think we’ve set their minds at ease. They’re all having a great time,” Vice President of Youth Development, Jessica Berry, said.

She added many of the kids had never been in the water.

“It is amazing. I’ve been walking around, asking, ‘How does it feel to be in the water?’ and that’s exactly what I’ve heard, ‘It feels amazing!'”

Students are making waves, learning how to kick, how to float on their stomachs and backs, and how to jump into the water properly.

Teacher, Michael Shelton says he is impressed.

“Swimming lessons are super important. I know my boys take them and this gives everyone a chance to have them,” Shelton said.

“Yeah, it was awesome and terrific,” 2nd grader Sadie Hisle said of the lesson, “It helps me a lot because I didn’t know how to do so many tricks in the water.”

Now, they not only know tricks, but also tips to stay safe in and around the water this summer.

Students went home with a voucher for eight weeks of swimming lessons. The YMCA hopes parents will agree to the offer so kids can continue becoming stronger swimmers.