Creating safe environments where individuals and families can engage in physical activity is important to the Y. That’s why Ys across the nation are working to promote walkable and bikeable communities and to prevent drowning, one of the leading causes of unintentional deaths among children.
- Creating Walkable, Bikeable Communities The Y is committed to improving the nation’s health and well-being and understands the importance of staying physically active. Walking is a great way for most Americans to increase their physical activity. It doesn’t require special skills or equipment, has a lower risk of injury than other forms of physical activity, and can be done by most people. Even those with diverse abilities are often able to walk or move with the help of devices such as wheelchairs or walkers. The Y advocates for increased funding for State Physical Activity and Nutrition programs at CDC. We also work to build state-level policy changes through Active People, Healthy Nation at the CDC, which supports state health departments and national organizations, like the Y, in building safer, more walkable, bikeable and rollable communities.
- Drowning Prevention and Water Safety While the Y works to teach more than one million children to swim each year, drowning is still a threat, particularly to children and those in underserved communities. Learning basic self-rescue skills can save lives and introduce children to new forms of physical activity for a healthy life. The Y advocates for funding for CDC’s Injury Center to enhance drowning prevention activities, including working with national organizations to scale proven drowning prevention programs, supporting state and community drowning surveillance efforts, and supporting a national plan on water safety.
- Outdoor Opportunities for All The Y inspires future generations to be stewards of our nation’s public lands through environmental education, conservation, recreation and civic responsibility. Partnerships between national parks and local YMCAs have created youth employment programs and provided more than 66,000 children and youth with their first camp or national park experience. The Y advocates for funding for the National Park Service (NPS) Youth Partnership Programs at the Department of Interior, and legislation to increase and ease access to our nation’s public lands.
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Healthy living is public policy priority for the Y. So many children benefit from our programs focused on their well-being. We continue to strive to include even more kids in these supportive initiatives.