• Near-drowning prompts changes to YMCA swimming programs


    PITTSBURGH - A near-drowning at a local YMCA is prompting changes when it comes to swimming programs.

    A 6-year-old nearly drowned last month at the Y in Franklin Park, and since that incident the YMCA has overhauled its summer swimming programs in the Pittsburgh area.

    Workers are hoping a color-coded bracelet system can be the difference between life and death.

    Green bracelets will be worn by advanced swimmers, yellow for beginners and red for non-swimmers.

    Another change is that counselors will be assigned to watch no more than five children at a time.

    “It’s one of those things where we’re much happier to be getting these phone calls from parents now,” Todd Brinkman, of the YMCA Pittsburgh, said. “Instead of there being some problem or an accident that we could have done more to prevent and we didn’t.”

    After the near-drowning, the Y temporarily shut down all 14 swimming pools for inspection. Eight of those pools have since reopened, and the rest are expected to reopen within a week.

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