PEORIA (25News Now) — As we enter the summer season, temperatures and drowning numbers rise.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old and the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children 5-14 years old, according to the CDC.

The CDC also states that deaths have been higher in recent years, with over 4,500 people drowned each year between 2020-2022.

While swimming is an essential skill that can save a life, a person’s swimming ability can be based on their accessibility to swim lessons in their community.

Greater Peoria YMCA is breaking down the barriers to swim lessons this summer by offering a free Safety Around Water program that will teach children safety around water and skills if they find themselves in a body of water.

“Not every family can afford to come in and get formal lessons. So this is our opportunity to give back to the community and make an impact,” said Sahara Adams, Aquatics Director for the Greater Peoria YMCA.

Registration opens on July 2, and classes begin July 8.

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Source: 25 News WEEK