YMCA Branch Name

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
For Social Development

Girl in swimming pool

The Kearney Family YMCA has teamed up with UNK & KPS with a goal of providing all KPS 1st graders with education on safety, aquatics, and fitness activity. The program is

Project S.A.F.E.
(Safety, Aquatics, Fitness, Education)

Click here to donate today!

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Unintentional Drowning:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

  • 5th leading cause of unintentional injury resulting in death in the United States.
  • 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day.
  • Approximately 1 in every 5 people who die from drowning are children 14 years and younger.
  • For every child that dies from drowning, another 5 receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
  • Non-fatal drownings injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.

Who is most at risk?

  • 80% who die from drowning are male
  • 88% of youth drowning incidents occur under adult supervision
  • 40% of youth drowning incidents occur within 6.5 feet of safety
  • 60% of youth drowning incidents occur within 10 feet of safety

What factors influence drowning risk?

  • Lack of swimming ability
  • Lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access
  • Lack of close supervision while swimming
  • Location
  • Failure to wear lifejackets
  • Alcohol use
  • Seizure disorders

About Project S.A.F.E

1 Day of Water Safety in the Classroom for 1 hour

1 Day in the Pool Learning/Reviewing Skills

A typical Pool day

-Buses deliver students to YMCA facility

-Students engage in 1 hour instruction periods

-30 minutes: Basic Water & Boat Safety Skills

-30 minutes: Swim Lesson practicing skills

-Buses return students to school

Desired Program Outcomes

  • Provide all program participants with beginner-level swimming instruction, thus building a safer community
  • Provide program participants with safety and injury prevention instruction on Water Safety
  • Provide participants with instruction in fitness activities that are conducive to a healthy lifestyle
  • Help participants develop self-confidence, self-respect and appreciation for their own worth as individuals
  • Create platform for children to engage parents in conversations about safety issues and healthy lifestyles

Tips to help keep your children safe around water

  • Supervise when in and around water. Designate an adult to be the “Water Watcher” while children are in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water activities. Be close enough to reach the child at all times. Drowning occurs quickly and quietly therefore the Water Watcher should not be involved in any other distracting activity even if lifeguards are present.
  • Use the Buddy System: Always swim with a buddy. Choose swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
  • Seizure Disorder Safety: If a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Wear lifejackets when boating.
  • Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. If a child has received swimming lessons constant and careful supervision is still important.
  • Learn CPR. In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, you CPR skills could save someone’s life
  • Air-Filled or Foam toys are not safety devices. These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe. Make sure you have a Coast Guard approved lifejacket.
  • Avoid Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
  • Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time. This can cause them to pass out and drown.

The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Click to read more about our financial assistance.