YMCA shines light on Central Kentucky’s Youth Water Safety Day

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Hundreds of third graders in Fayette County Public Schools splash in pools across Lexington on Friday as part of The YMCA of Central Kentucky’s Youth Water Safety Day.

More than 300 students participated in a program sponsored by Bates Security to decrease the number of swim-related fatalities at four different YMCA locations across town.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 and children 5 to 14; it’s the second leading cause of death, and the rates are even higher for children who are black or brown or in underserved communities.

Erin Andrews, mission advancement program director for the YMCA of Central Kentucky, said the goal was to work with underserved youth who data shows often do not learn the critical water safety skills they need.

“We know that students and youth in underserved communities don’t have access to swim lessons or to know about water safety, so it’s important to us to teach them those skills and to give them that knowledge,” said Andrews.

After the program ends, each child receives a voucher for free swim lessons at the Y to continue their swim journeys.

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