Safety Around Water

Safety Around Water Program

Drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. But, as a parent or caregiver, you can’t keep your children sidelined. You need to equip them with the tools they need to be confident in and around water so they don’t lose out on the health benefits of exercise, the opportunities to bond with family and friends, and the sense of accomplishment when they learn new skills.

The Skagit Y offers a 5-day Safety Around Water (SAW) course for free, thanks to funding from the Don Gerrior Memorial Fund. Use code “DONGERRIOR” during checkout to use this scholarship. During a SAW course, children learn skills that reduce the risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. A typical session includes:

  • Exercises to help children adjust to being in water
  • Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim,” two skill sets children can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water
  • An activity that teaches children about specific safety topics such as pool rules and boating safety
  • A fun game to encourage comfort and activity around water


For children ages 1–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.

36% of U.S. Latinx/Hispanic parents, a much higher percentage compared to other parents, state that water safety isn’t a priority due to affordability concerns.

Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children ages 1 to 4 years by 88%.