September 02, 2014

Drowning is the No. 1 killer of children under age 5 in Florida.

It only takes a few minutes for a child to drown or sustain serious, life-altering injuries. Children, as young as 6 months of age, can learn to save themselves in a drowning situation by using the self-rescue techniques taught in the YMCA of Central Florida’s Safe Start program. Unlike other swimming programs, Safe Start combines safe swimming lessons with lifesaving skills that teach your child to survive in the water.

Since 1999, more than 13,400 local children have learned Safe Start techniques. Those skills start with teaching children as young as 6 months to hold their breath under water, turn onto their backs and float unassisted.

Now, the YMCA of Central Florida has partnered with Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to teach more parents about Safe Start’s benefits. Literature about the program is currently being distributed to pediatricians across Central Florida, who will include it in the handouts parents receive at baby check-ups at six, nine, 12 and 18 months.

For more information about Safe Start, please visit the Safe Start program page.