WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Drowning is the number one cause of death for kids ages 1-4 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency does say, however, it’s usually preventable.

Clair Evans, the aquatics coordinator at the Walnut Creek Family YMCA in West Des Moines, agrees with the CDC.

She said in addition to learning how to swim, kids learning skills as simple as floating and treading water can save their lives. Even something as small as knowing how to blow bubbles underwater can prevent drowning.

She added that’s why it’s important for kids to take swimming lessons before families have an outing this summer to the pool or beach.

“Just getting them comfortable in the water, confident in the water, aware of what to do when they are in trouble or when they see something happening, all that’s covered in swim lessons and it is extremely important before having a day at the public pool or at a lake or at an indoor pool somewhere,” Evans said.

She said the YMCA has lessons available for kids as young as six months old with their parents. Registration is open on the YMCA’s website.

Evans added that even though swimming lessons are usually geared towards young kids, the YMCA does offer adult classes and it’s never too late to learn how to swim.