YMCA of Douglas County to hold first of two Free Water Safety Days on May 19

Douglas County YMCA in Roseburg (SBG photo)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- As the season turns from winter to spring, the YMCA of Douglas County is encouraging parents to learn more about keeping kids safe in, on, and around water. The Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming—teaching more than 1,300 kids a year swimming and water safety skills.

At the Y’s annual Water Safety day on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Stewart Park in Roseburg, YMCA staff members and volunteers will be on hand to encourage children and parents in the Roseburg area to explore what everyone can do to stay safe in our rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes.

200 life jackets will be distributed at no cost to area youth. These life jackets are Coast Guard-approved type III PFDs flotation aids.

This program is made possible with the support of the YMCA, South Umpqua Community 101 Program, Bi-Mart, Rogue Credit Union, KPIC-TV, Douglas County Sheriff's Marine Patrol, North West Rafters Association, and the Cow Creek Tribe.

“It’s never too early to get children involved in swimming and water safety—it’s important for safety reasons, but also a great way to keep active and healthy,” said Marisa Fink, CEO/Executive Director of the YMCA. “Water Safety Day is an opportunity for parents to learn about keeping their kids safe and the importance of swim lessons.”

As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the Y encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. Following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.
  • Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.
  • Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.

In addition to learning about lifesaving water safety skills, and how to fit and wear the lifejackets, attendees at Water Safety day will feature boating safety information, face painting, rescue rope throwing practice, and orientation to one of the six River Rescue Stations in the area.

For more information. visit the Y’s website at www.ymcaofdouglascounty.org.

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