YMCA Teaches Superior Students Water Safety Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

Brandon Weathers
Updated: May 24, 2019 06:16 PM

The Superior YMCA has been offering free water safety lessons to Northern Lights Elementary throughout May, which is National Water Safety Month, in hopes of sending children into the holiday weekend water smart.

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“Unfortunately, we know that drowning events do happen, and there is a strong possibility that, with lots of communities hitting the water for the first time this summer, there will be some scary events this Memorial Day weekend,” Superior YMCA aquatic director Jess Melander said. “We want to pre-empt that. Getting your kids into swim lessons is one of the best ways to help prevent drowning.”

The Safety Around Water program aims to teach kids basic water safety skills they might not otherwise receive. “There are approximately 600 kids at Northern Lights, 500 of them have never been in swim lessons," Melander said.

One of the techniques taught is swim-float-swim. “We teach kids to put their face in the water and swim as far as they can, and then flip over and float on their back to catch their breath and take a rest, then flip back on their stomach and keep swimming. That’s going to increase their endurance and stamina for kids that aren’t strong swimmers. That’s gonna help them get that 10 feet to a dock,” Melander said. "60% of fatal drownings in youth happen within 10 feet of safety ... so that ability to swim that 10 feet, that’s the difference between life and death.”


Brandon Weathers

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