IN RECOGNITION OF THE YMCA OF GREATER HOUSTON AND CHILDHOOD SWIM SAFETY
(Extensions of Remarks - July 31, 2014)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1291]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




IN RECOGNITION OF THE YMCA OF GREATER HOUSTON AND CHILDHOOD SWIM SAFETY

                                  _____
                                 

                            HON. GENE GREEN

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, July 31, 2014

  Mr GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise to remember the three 
children who die every day in our country as a result of drowning and 
to recognize organizations, like the YMCA, that are working to give 
America's children the necessary skills to prevent these tragic 
accidents from happening.
  Drowning is the leading cause of death nationally for children aged 
one to four and is the second leading cause of death for children aged 
five to nine. For children between five and nine, the drowning rate for 
African American and American Indian children is three times the rate 
of white American children. At ages 11 and 12, the disparity between 
black and white children grows even worse. Regardless of race or 
ethnicity, lower income populations disproportionately bear the burden 
of drowning.
  For my hometown and state, the numbers are very sobering. In the 
Houston metropolitan area, 22 children drowned last year. For the State 
of Texas, 82 children were victims of drowning in 2013 and 66 percent 
of all child-aged drowning victims in our state in 2012 were male.
  The YMCA is one example of an organization that is changing 
statistics for children across the country. The YMCA is bringing 
swimming safety and drowning prevention programs to underserved 
communities throughout the U.S., including communities in Houston and 
Harris County. YMCAs partner with schools to bring kids to the Y for 
lessons and offer swimming lessons year around. I learned to swim at 
the M.D. Anderson YMCA in our congressional district.
  I am proud that the YMCA of Greater Houston is one of 15 YMCAs across 
the country piloting a program to improve childhood swimming and 
drowning prevention. This commendable program is providing drowning 
prevention and water safety skills to underserved communities who would 
otherwise not have access to these lifesaving skills.
  The YMCA of Greater Houston is one of 103 Y's providing additional 
scholarships to children in their communities that may not otherwise 
have access to swim lessons as part of a nationwide data collection 
project on effectiveness of skill instruction in all communities.
  I would like to congratulate the YMCA of Greater Houston on serving 
the people of Houston and Harris County for over 100 years and on its 
great efforts to save the lives of all our children and I invite 
Members of this chamber to join them in educating parents and providing 
children the skills they need to swim safely and avoid harm.

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