OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - One day after a 4-year-old drowned in a pool, YMCA swim instructors were at Ocean Springs schools teaching students important water safety lessons.
"Swim with a buddy in a supervised area," students at Oak Park recited to their instructor.
The third graders at Oak Park spent Monday morning learning the golden rules of water safety. YMCA Volunteer David McCoy was the teacher.
"You are not a fish," he told the kids. "You cannot breathe underwater, and you can't yell for help."
McCoy was saddened to hear that a 4-year-old drowned at a pool party Sunday. That's why he travels from school to school in Ocean Springs letting young people know that water is dangerous.
"Make sure you know what you are jumping into. And more important than that, know what you are diving into. There are so many accidents that happen."
To make the message stick, McCoy knows he has to do more than just talk to these children. So for the next 10 weeks, the kids will also get in the pool to learning swimming and survival skills. During Monday's class, the YMCA instructor even let the kids do a little role playing to show them, even at their age, they can save someone's life. They used everything from a towel to and basketball to help some stranded in the pool.
Hopefully, the kids will soak up all this valuable information and use it to prevent more tragic deaths in the water.
"After these 10 weeks, we do not drown proof somebody. But you make them aware, and aware, and aware themselves and other people."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for adolescents.