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Water Safety

Be Safe, Have Fun

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years. The Y is committed to making sure everyone has the skills needed to be safe in and around the water. Our water safety programs and partnerships make water safety exciting, fun and accessible.

Enroll in Swim Lessons

Kids learn life-saving skills through swim lessons at the Y. Our programs are led by certified instructors and emphasize water safety as well as swim skills and techniques. Lessons are for children as young as six months.

Pass the Test, Lose the Vest

We want your swimming experience to be fun and safe at the Y. Visit our blog for an overview of our swim testing procedures and pool rules.

Reanna Learns to Swim

Silas and Harry's Story

Water Safety Program at the Y

Eight-year-old twins Harry and Silas Crowe confidently jumped into the deep end of the pool and swam to the wall during a swim lesson at Henley Aquatics Center in Independence. 

You would never know that just four weeks earlier, the boys were nervous about the lessons. Harry in particular, was uncomfortable in the water after falling into a pool at a friend’s house.

“Harry wouldn’t venture away from anything he could hold onto or stand on,” said their dad, Tom Crowe.

Now the fear had subsided as the boys and their classmates learned important swim and safety skills from a YMCA instructor. The lessons are provided at no cost to families thanks to a partnership between the YMCA and the Independence School District that began in 2012. 

The district receives grant funds to support the program, and the Y provides certified swim lesson instructors. Secondgraders in the school district ride a bus to the district’s Henley Aquatics Center after school, once a week for six weeks. Students even receive swimsuits if needed.

As many as 80 students and 12 teachers are in the water each night of the lessons. For many of the students, Harry and Silas included, it’s the first time they’ve had formal swim lessons.

Harry said that before the lessons began, he couldn’t swim much. “I tried but I couldn’t,” he said. But thanks to the lessons, he and his brother are swimming in the deep end for the first time and learning important skills like floating and proper arm and leg movements in the water. They’re also building confidence along the way. “I feel really good about it and now I’m not shy about the water,” Silas said.

Debunking Swim Lesson Myths

Debunking Swim Lesson Myths

To make sure you and your family are safe, know what is fact and fiction when it comes to swimming lessons and safety.

Tips to Make Water Safety a Priority

Tips to Make Water Safety a Priority

Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old. Read these tips to take an active role in your child’s safety when in and around the water.