Kids Learn Water Safety at Boys and Girls Club of Albany
ALBANY — Water safety for children is a huge issue especially in the summer time. In the blink of an eye, an accident can change a family forever.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said at least 163 children fatally drowned in pools and spas in the summer of 2017. Seven of those deaths happened in Georgia. The ZAC Foundation was started because of one of these pool accidents that claimed a boy’s life, and they have made it their mission to prevent as many water based deaths of children as possible.
The Boys & Girls Club of Albany partnered again for the second time with the ZAC Foundation to teach children about water safety. The Boys & Girls Club is teaching children how to swim and pool safety with the swim camps, and also gives children an opportunity to interact with law enforcement.
On Wednesday, Dougherty County EMS brought an ambulance to the Boys & Girls Club for kids to climb in to. On Tuesday, the Albany Fire Department was there to meet with the children. First responders attended the camps to teach the kids more about what they do to hopefully spark interest in those careers, Boys & Girls Club of Albany CEO Marvin Laster said.
This year over 100 children participated in the free swim camp program.
“This is a very comprehensive program,” Laster said. “One we’re very proud to be a part of, and hopefully we can prevent unintentional drownings that claim the lives of so many in southwest Georgia.”
Interactive games were set up inside the club to further teach children about water safety.
Children were taught critical steps of pool safety including how to put their faces in water, how to not fear the water and how to float. One mother, Celeste Daniels, sat on the sidelines of the club to watch her daughter learn how to swim. Daniels brought her daughter to the classes because she said she doesn’t want her child to become one of the statistics.
“She (her daughter) was so scared, she told me, ‘Mommy, I want to go home, but I told her ‘no, honey, you can’t give up you’ve gotta learn,” Daniels said.
Soon Daniels’ daughter learned how to float and play in the pool under the guidance of the instructors and even made a new friend. Daniels said that she wants to bring her daughter back again next year.
For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Albany, visit bgcalbany.org. The ZAC Foundation’s website is www.thezacfoundation.com. The information for the CPSC’s statistics for pool safety is available at www.cpsc.gov/Latest-Pool-Safely-Stats-At-Least-163-Children-Fatally-Drowned-in-Pools-and-Spas-This-Summer.