YMCA is wrapping up its summer of teaching basic pool safety at apartment complex swimming pools throughout the metroplex. The swim lesson outreach program called Make a Splash provided free swim lessons at low-income apartment communities.
Jessican Pewitt, associate vice president of aquatics at YMCA, said many times children are left unsupervised in apartment communities around swimming pools. Pewitt also said drowning is the leading cause of death for preschoolers.
"That kind of surpasses ethnic barriers and socioeconomic barriers, and it's really about access. When kids are preschoolers, they have access to their backyard or their grandma's backyard," she said.
Irving resident Humberto Juarez took advantage of the free class at his apartment pool. He said he frequented it with his 6-year-old son.
"It worries you. You can't take your eyes off of him for a minute, because if you do, you never know what will happen," Juarez said. "With these swimming lessons, hopefully it'll be very helpful for him where if we do take our eyes off of him, you know, accidentally, he'll be fine. He'll be well off on his own."
Swim instructors taught basic skills to students at more than 130 pools across the metroplex this summer. Pewitt said according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 88 percent of drownings could be prevented if children took formal swim lessons.
This program has been growing every summer since it began in 2010.