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Preventing children from dry drowning, YMCA offers free swim classes

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 21:19:08-04

Drowning is the second leading cause of death amongst children ages 1-14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Dry drowning is a type of drowning that can occur when a child is not in the water. 

"We really hit hard with safety in and around the water," says Candis Martin, the Associate Director of Communications and Drowning Prevention at YMCA of Southern Arizona. "Dry drowning which is when the kids breathe in the water and it doesn't get into the lungs, but it kind of closes up their esophagus and it suffocates them pretty much."

Martin says any amount of water can have some type of effect and it can be any type of water too whether it be pool, ocean or bath water. 

She explained some symptoms to look out for are coughing, chest pain and extreme sleepiness. 

"So if they are noticing their kid is going under the water and then coughing a lot we want to try to let parents know don't let their kids go under the water more than three times and then if you do see that coughing to kind of stop it immediately," she said. 

She advises parents that even if a child has taken swim lessons, they still need to watch their child around water. 

The YMCA is offering free swim classes for children during this month and July.

"We start with basics, submersion under the water," she said. "We also talk about jumping in the water and push off the bottom and return back to the wall safely. We also do a swim float swim technique, which they are taught from an early age where they can kick and swim out a little ways, they get too tired and float on their back and then return to the wall." 

For a link to sign up for YMCA's swim classes, click here