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Staying Safe Around Water

The Safety Around Water Program

Drowning poses a considerable risk for youth and adults, especially those of color from underserved populations. The statistics are sobering, but drowning deaths are preventable. At the YMCA of San Francisco, we believe everyone should have the chance to learn how to stay safe around water. Every April, the Safety Around Water Program is offered at select YMCASF locations for one week to educate the community through hands-on learning about the importance of water safety.


Fewer Than Half of All Americans Say They Know How to Swim

Learning to be safe around water is a life skill. Today, fewer than half of all Americans say they know how to swim. The Safety Around Water program is designed to help change that..

“My kids and I have enjoyed this program since 2015. My daughter, Gina, never learned to swim before this program, but now she mastered freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke. My son, Eugene, started the program 2 years ago and has improved every time. They both enjoyed this program and are willing to join swim team one day. I really appreciate everything you offer for kids. Truly, we love the program so much.” - Peninsula Family YMCA Parent


A Sense of Achievement

Learning to be safe around water builds a sense of achievement. Overcoming a fear of water and mastering skills in the pool build confidence and competence. This youth (above) at Marin YMCA learned to overcome their fear of jumping in the pool.

“It was nice to see the kids out in the water having fun. As the week progress, it was nice to see my students were getting more comfortable in the water and being mindful of the pool rules and others in the pool.” - Chinatown YMCA instructor


Transitioning to Formal Swim Lessons

Safety Around Water is an independent program designed to reach children at risk of drowning and teach them basic water safety skills, but the skills it develops overlap with those taught in the Swim Basics stage of YMCA Swim Lessons. Students who complete Safety Around Water are prepared to transition directly into swim lessons to continue the learning.

Explore Swim Lessons