National drowning prevention week puts spotlight on need for children to learn to swim

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:59 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - National Drowning Prevention week looks to put a spotlight on the leading cause of death for children. During this week the YMCA wanted to stress the importance of learning how to swim, with a focus on certain demographics who see more drownings than others.

According to the CDC, children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates, with fatal drowning the second-leading cause of unintentional injury behind motor vehicle crashes for children ages 1-14.

These numbers become even more troubling when its broken into racial/ethnic deaths. The CDC reports that drowning death rates are 1.5 times higher for Black people vs White people. In swimming pools, Black children ages 10-14 years drown at rates 7.6 higher than White children.

These staggering numbers are the reason why the YMCA of Greater Cleveland hosts swimming lessons and goes into local schools looking to help teach students how to swim.

Chris Scheuer, Executive Director, Hillcrest Family YMCA, said that getting these lessons into communities that have larger populations of people who cannot swim is incredibly important, which is why the YMCA makes sure the classes are for everyone.

Swim lessons can be found at the link here, with youth, teen, adult and senior classes available.

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