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Free Swim Classes At The YMCA Combat Childhood Drowning

Flickr (Creative Commons)
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

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.”

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.