With a pool in her backyard and her energetic two-year-old, Claudia knew she had to find swim lessons for her son Phoenix. “I searched online for somewhere that offered swim lessons nearby,” said Claudia. In her search, she found Parent & Child swim lessons at the Highland Family YMCA and signed up. “We think it is important for him to learn to swim and get out of a pool,” said Claudia.

 

“We love it. I feel so grateful that he can now get to the edge of the pool and pull himself up,” shared Claudia.

Highland Aquatics 2022

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children aged 1–4 years, and drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children 5–9 years. More than 60% of fatal drownings of 0–4 year-olds occur in swimming pools. ¹

After only eight classes, two-year-old Phoenix is making great strides in his swim survival skills. “We love it. I feel so grateful that he can now get to the edge of the pool and pull himself up,” shared Claudia. “The wall crawl, or gripping the edge of the pool and moving around, is one of his favorite things to do.”

At the Y, we know that water safety education is vital to the health and safety of our community. Yet survey data shows that 3 in 10 parents say water safety isn’t a priority due to affordability concerns.2 Personal experiences and barriers parents face regarding swimming and water safety can have generational impacts.

In an effort to bridge the gap between swim lessons and water safety education, the YMCA of the East Valley has offered the Safety Around Water program for free to children in the local community since 2017. Funded by the generous support of our donors, our Safety Around Water program has taught 4809 youth water safety skills in the last five years.

In a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, formal swim lessons were associated with a 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in 1- to -4-year-old children.³

“It is amazing that the Y offers access to programs like these to the community for safety. It is important for parents to know that these programs exist,” says Claudia.

For over 110 years, the YMCA has been teaching swim lessons. This year the YMCA of the East Valley taught 217 swim lessons through scholarships.

The Y knows that in order to create a community of strong swimmers, we need to eliminate the financial and social barriers that many face. With the support of our donors, we are working each day to reduce the risks and eliminate child drownings.

Swim lessons were associated with a 88% reduction in the risk
of drowning in 1- to 4-year-old children.²

1. CDC. July 10, 2022.

2. YMCA. September 13, 2021. 

3. JAMA Network.March 2, 2009. 

Highland Aquatics 2022 2

Support members like Claudia

1 in 3 support Financial Assistance

The YMCA provides Financial Assistance so that we can eliminate the financial barriers that keep families and individuals from wellness resources and a community of support. When you donate to the YMCA of the East Valley, 100% of those donations go straight into our Financial Assistance program so we can serve more in our community.