Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
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. ____________________