YMCAs throughout California want to ensure that water safety doesn’t get lost in our communities ongoing eagerness to return to a “normal” summer. As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that’s in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. And that means the risk of drowning is ever present. With May being National Water Safety Month, the Alliance is encouraging parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety and equip their kids with the essential skills to keep them safe in and around water.
As ‘America’s Swim Instructor,’ our YMCAs annually teach more than 150,000 children valuable water safety and swimming skills. Now more than ever, it’s important to remind parents and caregivers that water safety needs to be top-of-mind as families start to return to their favorite summertime activities.
As part of National Water Safety Month, the [Name OF YMCA] is encouraging parents to play an active role in promoting water safety and providing five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all.
- Never swim alone or without a water watcher. When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty, or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.
- Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times.
- Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side-effects.
- Wear a life jacket: Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural instinct may be to jump in the water to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower them, pulling the rescuer underwater. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety. By using this technique children can help their friend without compromising their own safety.