East Orange YMCA

Safety Around Water


Drowning is preventable!

The YMCA’s free 5-day program teaches children of all ages and from all backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared. Certified swim instructors will teach skills that reduce the risk of drowning and give children the confidence to be in and around water.


  • Two children die every day because of drowning.
  • Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years old and is the second leading cause of death for children from 5 to 14 years old.
  • According to national research 70% of African American and 60% of Hispanic children cannot swim.
  • African American youth ages 5-14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts.

The Skills:

Swim, float, swim
In this skill sequence, children swim a short distance on their front, turn to their back to float, then turn to their front to continue swimming. Rolling onto their back periodically allows them to rest and breathe. The sequence helps children stay afloat until someone arrives to help them or they are able to get to safety using the combined skills.

Jump, push, turn, grab
In this skill sequence, a child jumps into the water, pushes off the bottom, turns around to face the wall, grabs the wall, and safely exits the pool. The sequence simulates the experience children have if they are submerged in water unexpectedly. After learning the sequence, children have the skills to get back to the side of the pool or to safety.

New Swim Schedule Coming Soon!