Thousand Oaks, Calif.—The Conejo Valley YMCA and Simi Valley Family YMCA are signing up kids for “Safety Around Water” (SAW). The one-week program will be held at both YMCA branches March 25 through March 29. SAW is designed to teach children water safety and basic swimming skills. It is offered at no cost to participants and is open to the public.
The 30-minute classes are for those with little or no swimming experience. Participants are grouped by age: preschool (3 to 5 year olds) and youth (6 to 10 year olds). Classes take place in the morning, afternoon and early evening at the Simi Y and in the afternoon and early evening at the Conejo Y. On Friday, March 29, SAW families are invited to swim from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Simi Y. YMCA lifeguards will be on duty.
According to the USA Swimming Foundation, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2018, at least 148 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas. “Safety Around Water is a great starting point to not only get kids comfortable in the water, but also teach their parents the importance of developing water safety skills,” says Ricardo Espinoza Carrillo, the Conejo Y’s senior program director.
SAW does not take the place of swim classes. It is a water survival program. During SAW classes, children learn how to respond if they find themselves in unexpected water situations including how to float on their backs, reach the water’s surface if they become submerged and safely reach a pool’s edge. Fun activities are incorporated in the classes to reinforce skills.
Classes are held in the heated, indoor pools at the Conejo Y (4031 Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks) and Simi Y (3200 Cochran St., Simi Valley). Participants can register by calling one of the YMCA branches: Conejo Y, 805-523-7613, Simi Y, 805-583-5338 or sign up in person.
YMCA – Conejo and Simi Valley