YMCA program teaches little ones swim safety in Burlington County

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Instructors and volunteers teach the children about water safety, how to assist someone who needs help and the basics of keeping themselves afloat. (WPVI)

Little Chloe Richardson was one of over 100 kids at the country club pool Friday in Willingboro taking part in a free Swim Safe program offered by the YMCA of Camden and Burlington counties.

"So far I've been swimming. They been holding me up. I've been paddling," said Chloe of Palmyra, New Jersey.

Instructors and volunteers teach the children about water safety, how to assist someone who needs help and the basics of keeping themselves afloat.

"To not get yourself into a bad situation and if you are in a bad situation, how do you help get yourself out of it?" said Dawn Willers, YMCA Aquatics Director.

"It's about again understanding the risks and then the rewards of what the water has to offer," said YMCA Camden/Burlco President Tim Kerrihard.

Statistics show between 2005 and 2014 over 3,500 people died each year from accidental drowning.

Ten people drown every day in America, and each year 5,000 kids under the age of 14 are hospitalized for near-drowning accidents.

That's why parents are motivated to have kids participate in the Swim Safe program.

"Educate them on the safety of swimming. That it can be fun, but it's also rules you have to follow," said Brenda Closel of Willingboro, New Jersey. "It's not all about splashing and pushing and dunking."

"Today we're just learning how to be safe when swimming," said Joel Toby of Willingboro, New Jersey.

"I know how to swim, but I just forgot over the summer so it's a work in progress," said Pierce Milliner of Beverly, New Jersey.

"I was just like proud of myself. I just kept trying and trying and kicking and it was just like really fun," said Christina Johnson of Palmyra, New Jersey.

And that's the goal: Fun at the pool or the beach, but always safety first.

Related Topics:
newsnew jersey newsswimmingchildren's healthWillingboro
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