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Safety Around Water (SAW) Empowers 646 Youth with Water Safety Skills

EVERETT, WA. July 2, 2024 –– Thanks to generous grant funding from Y-USA, the YMCA of Snohomish County successfully provided vital water safety education to 646 children across the county. The Safety Around Water (SAW) program, which runs every year during the last two weeks of June, aims to equip children with essential skills to ensure their safety in and around water.

“Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity,” said Tom Wunderlich, Association Director of Aquatics Advancement, YMCA of Snohomish County. “The Y’s Safety Around Water program provides children with the tools they need to explore and enjoy water activities safely.”

This 8-day course, led by certified instructors, focuses on reducing the risk of drowning and building confidence in and around water. A typical session includes:

  • Exercises to help kids adjust to being in the water
  • Instruction in two skill sets kids can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water: Jump, Push, Turn, Grab and Swim, Float, Swim
  • Safety topics like what to do if you see someone in the water who needs help, pool rules, and boating safety
  • Fun activities that promote comfort in water and reinforce skills

Every lesson concludes with a handout for parents and caregivers, offering additional water safety tips.

Drowning can occur almost anywhere there is standing water. As a parent or caregiver, it’s crucial to equip children with the confidence and skills needed to safely enjoy water activities. This not only promotes physical health but also strengthens family bonds and fosters a sense of accomplishment.

“Drowning can happen quickly and silently,” emphasized Wunderlich. “By teaching these essential skills, we are empowering children to stay safe and enjoy the many benefits that come with being in and around water.”

SAW is free to participants and open to all community members. The program will run again in June 2025. For more information on YMCA aquatics programs, please visit Financial assistance is available.



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