Simi Valley, Calif.—The Simi Valley Family YMCA is taking signups for “Safety Around Water” (SAW). The one-week program will be held March 23 through March 26 during spring break. 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 12 year olds). Classes take place in the morning and afternoon.
According to the USA Swimming Foundation, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14 in the United States. “Safety Around Water helps kids become comfortable in and around water as they learn the importance of water safety skills,” says Mitch McManus, the Simi Y’s associate executive 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 back, 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 Simi Y’s heated, indoor pools (3200 Cochran St., Simi Valley). Participants can register online, www.sevymca.org/simivalley, by calling the Simi Y, 805-583-5338 or by signing up in person.