The world is 71 percent water and kids are 100 percent curious. As a leader in drowning prevention, the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA believes a child’s safety in and around water should never be left to chance. To remind the community to be water smart from the start, the Tampa Y is teaming up with the Tampa Bay Rays to offer free Safety Around Water lessons to children Monday to Thursday, March 12-15 to coincide with Hillsborough County Public Schools spring break.

Thanks to the generosity of the Rays, the free Safety Around Water program is offered annually in the spring to help keep kids stay safe at the beach, pool, lake and while boating. It’s open to the entire community, beginners and non-swimmers, ages 3-12 years.

Tampa Y Aquatics Experience Executive Amanda Walker said, “We take drowning prevention very seriously at the Tampa YMCA and are thankful for the Rays’ generous partnership for Safety Around Water week. Together, we are committed to keeping swimmers safe in and around the water.”

During the free four-day course, certified instructors teach children a sequenced set of skills that will reduce the risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water.

A typical session includes exercises to help children adjust to being in water. Instruction in ‘Jump, Push, Turn, Grab’ and ‘Swim, Float, Swim,’ two skill sets children can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water or an area they cannot touch bottom. Specific safety topics like what to do if you see someone in the water that needs help and fun activities that reinforce skills. 

A YMCA membership is not required; however, pre-registration is required due to limited space. Participants must be present on the first day of class and bring their own swimsuit and towel.
Classes take place Monday, March 12 – Thursday, March 15. Times vary based on YMCA location.

For more information, visit https://www.tampaymca.org/programs/swimming/water-safety/ or contact the following participating Ys to pre-register:
North Brandon Family YMCA, 3097 S. Kingsway Rd. in Seffner at 685-5402 or Campo Family YMCA, 3414 Culbreath Rd., in Valrico at 684-1371.