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YMCA stresses water safety as summer approaches

Posted at 8:23 AM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 09:23:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to summer in Kansas City, Missouri, marking a time when pools around the region normally open for the season.

Saturday, Kansas City, Kansas, will open its Parkwood Pool. Overland Park, Kansas, opens its pools Sunday. Kansas City, Missouri, won’t open until June 11.

As many families return to the water for the first time in close to nine months, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City is reminding them to be safe.

Aquatics Director Sabrah Parsons encourages parents to enroll students in swim lessons. Some studies show lessons reduce a child’s risk of drowning by 88%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 14. Car crashes is the leading cause.

Parsons advises parents to designate an adult to constantly monitor children while they’re swimming. Don’t let phones or books distract you. She said children should always ask their parents for permission before getting in the water. She recommends using a life vest for children before they know how to swim.

Following the death of a Kansas City, Kansas, teenager who got stuck underwater at the Parkwood Pool in 2021, the YMCA partnered with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and KCK, to offer free swim lessons to elementary school students. The groups will expand the program to middle school students this summer, while also training high school students to work as lifeguards.

Information on the YMCA’s swimming programs and prices is available on the organization’s website.