Mission Moment Water Safety | West Suburban YMCA

Mission Moment: Water Safety is for Everyone

Amanda Pierce

Jun 24, 2019

Mission Moment

Mission Moments are stories shared by West Suburban YMCA staff and members that demonstrate service to our community. Over the years, the work of the Y has grown and evolved, but the shared mission of YMCA’s across the world has remained constant: to deliver services and programs that build mind, body and spirit; to reflect our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility; and to make sure that everyone has access to our programs and services.

Warm weather has returned to our area and with it has come the devastating tragedies involving children drownings.  Drownings have already occurred with a 5-year old in a pool in Medford; 9 year old in a lake in Hopkinton, and a 14 year old in a pond in Clinton.  At the West Suburban YMCA, our thoughts and prayers go out to these families and want our community to understand that drowning is PREVENTABLE.

In May 2019, the West Suburban YMCA hosted another Water Safety Open House – FREE to the community. The purpose of this event was to share with parents/families the importance of water safety and learning how to swim.

We know that drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.  Swimming pools are the most common site for drowning to occur among children between ages 1-4.

All participants at our event received a new pair of goggles to try out in the pool. Everyone received an informational package regarding water safety.  During the event, participants all were in the pool and received a FREE 40-minute instructional swim lesson.  All the kids had the opportunity to try on a life jacket and practice swimming in the pool with it on.  Parents were instructed on the way to properly purchase and fit a life jacket for their child. 

With each of our swim lesson, we emphasized to the children the importance of ASKING FOR PERMISSION before approaching any body of water and ensuring that an adult is in the water before getting in themselves. It is so crucial for our young swimmers to get the attention of the adult who is watching them and that that adult is ready for them to enter the water.

After the event, we received a couple of emails from parents about our event and how it has impacted their child or their family.

  • “Holden [her son] and I had SUCH a good time at the swim lesson! On the way home he told his grandmother, “I was swimming in the pool and I was so happy.” Now he keeps talking about “my swimmin’ googles”. What a perfect opportunity to let him build some confidence in the water. Hope to put him in lessons in the next round! Thank you again for the opportunity!
  • “Thanks West Suburban YMCA, we loved it! We signed up for the Y immediately after class and will register for swimming sessions today.”

We will be hosting our next FREE Water Safety Open House on Sunday 8/4 at 12pm.  Please join us and spread the word to anyone who is not comfortable in and around water.  Together, we can prevent any more drownings.