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Strong Swimmers, Confident Kids

Margaux Farrell sat down with John Cattelan,
Executive Director for the Connecticut Alliance of YMCAs
to talk about what is available to keep people safe in the water this summer.

Author: Margaux Farrell
Published: 11:32 AM EDT July 5, 2019

Did you know?

There are 21 YMCAs across Connecticut, and it is their mission to make sure that everyone knows how to be water safe.

The YMCA will never turn someone away because of their finances. The staff says they will work with families to make sure they can get the help they need.

Providing a safe environment and creating a culture of safety for every person the Y engages is essential to our mission, cause, and viability as an organization. This commitment is underscored in a membership qualification that establishes minimum safety practices for YMCAs in the area of aquatic safety.

Drowning poses a threat to the health and well-being of people nationwide, particularly to children and minority populations.

  • Two children die every day from drowning
  • Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children 1 to 4 years of age and is the second leading cause of death for children from 5 to 14 years old
  • African American youth ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to down than their white counterparts.

Importantly, these deaths are preventable.   The Connecticut Alliance of YMCAs is committed to making drowning prevention a state priority not only to prevent these tragic events but also to ensure that all children can safely enjoy the health and recreational benefits of swimming and experience the confidence and resiliency that comes from learning to swim.

The Connecticut Alliance of YMCAs is also a member of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Commission on Women, Children and Seniors Water Safety Awareness Task Force.   This task force is composed of legislators, selected state agencies, community leaders, non-profit foundations, and water safety experts, who together are working to reduce unintentional drownings.

Aquatic Safety Pathway
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