YMCA promotes swim safety as Summer heats up

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Thousands of people drown every year-- most of those deaths occur during the summer months.

According to the CDC, 1 in 5 of those deaths are children under the age of 14.

"Drowning is a silent killer. There's not a lot of noise, not a lot of splashing," said Pam Bailey with the YMCA of Greater Flint. "They can't cry out, there's water in their lungs so parents are usually caught unaware."

In most cases, the few minutes it may take to realize a child is struggling, can be life or death.

"As a bystander, if you see someone you think may be distressed the first thing to do is call for help," said Bailey.

But there are things a child can do in the water before a fun day becomes deadly.

"One of the first things we teach in our swim lessons is how to swim on your back," said Bailey. "If you're ever in distress, the first thing to naturally do is float on your back and then call for help immediately."

By floating on your back calmly, you are reserving energy. Making it easier to be saved, or save yourself when the time comes.

"If you're getting tired, float on your back, relax," said Bailey. "It allows you to cry for help and let people know and then you can get back to trying to get back to shore."

The YMCA says the most important thing to remember is to never let a child swim alone.