Red Bank, NJ (June 4, 2019) – Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death by unintentional injury among children ages 1-4, and about one in five people who die from drowning in the United States each year are 14 or younger. In New Jersey alone, drowning deaths have been on the rise in recent years, most of which are due to ocean rip currents.

For this reason, the Y encourages all in the community to participate in its annual Safety Around Water program. Safety Around Water is a 5-day intensive water safety program that introduces the aquatic environment to beginners and teaches basic learn-to-swim skills and water safety awareness for families. Taught by certified Y instructors, the Safety Around Water curriculum teaches children and adults essential skills that reduce their risk of drowning and helps them feel safe and comfortable in and around water.

“We are pleased to continue providing this vital service each year,” said Laurie Goganzer, president and CEO of The Community YMCA. “As a community that is surrounded by water and loves the shore, the Y is committed to teaching our neighbors the importance of water safety and helping parents keep their children safe and confident around the water.”

Safety Around Water week will be held Monday, June 17 through Friday, June 21 at the Red Bank Family YMCA, 166 Maple Ave., Red Bank and at YMCA Camp Zehnder, 3911 Herbertsville Rd., Wall. The annual program is offered to first-time participants of all ages who have little or no swimming ability, including current Y members who have not already participated in a YMCA swim program.

All are encouraged to register to participate in this important water safety initiative. Registration is taken on a first-come, first-served basis at one of the Y’s aquatic locations in Red Bank and Wall. Program fee is $15 and schedules can be viewed online. Space is limited.

“Drowning can happen nearly anywhere, but as parents and caregivers, we can’t keep our children sidelined. We need to equip them with the tools they need to be confident in and around water so they don’t miss out on the health benefits of exercise, opportunities to bond with family and friends, and their sense of accomplishment in learning a new skill,” Goganzer said.

For more information, contact Caitlin Minnich, Red Bank swim coordinator, at 732.741.2504, ext. 220, or Alicia Kelly, Camp Zehnder swim coordinator, at 732.836.9177, ext. 832.

Photo Caption:  Registration is now open for the Y’s Safety Around Water program. Pictured are Jared Angelozzi and his son, Chase, from Red Bank. 

About The Community YMCA
The Y is a leading nonprofit charity that strengthens communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Community YMCA serves more than 20,000 residents in greater Monmouth County, NJ through programs such as: preschool, before and after school care, summer day camp, teen leadership, arts enrichment, health and wellness and personal and family counseling. In 2018, the Y provided $830,000 in financial assistance and program subsidies to strengthen 2,590 children and families in Monmouth County.