sacramento-sealSacramento residents may want to think twice before venturing into icy currents of local waterways this summer.

According to a report on Drowning Prevention by Niko S. King, drowning rates in Sacramento are almost 4 times greater than the United States national average.  An average of more than 30 deaths by drowning occur in Sacramento each year, giving Sacramento “the highest drowning rate per capita in Northern California.” (8)

The report reveals that American males are almost four times more likely to drown females (15 ), and “low socio-economic factors… [can] contribute to an increased frequency of drowning.” (16)

Over-confidence in swimming skills, as well as lack of familiarity with strong river currents, can be fatal to any age, race, or gender.

Initiatives such as the City of Sacramento’s Swim Safe Program, which provides free swim lessons, free swim team, and free Junior Lifeguard Programs, may reduce drowning rates by providing the opportunity to strengthen swimming skills.

“My first reaction to the classes were that they were a great idea because it’s a[n] important [skill] to learn and it would keep youth from drowning,” says local resident Yeshahyah Yisrael.  “These classes will benefit the community because it saves parents from having to go through the horrendous tribulation of losing a child or loved one, and it will give youth a skill to help them survive.”

Free swimming classes are available to the public at Sim Pool, McClatchy Pool, South Side Pool, and Mangan Pool.  For more information see here, call (916) 808.2306, or email aquatics@cityofsacramento.org.

Featured image courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons.