Five Essential Water Safety Tips To Know

May Is Water Safety Month and the Y Wants to Make Sure Everyone Has a Safe, Fun Time In and Around Water

As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off – whether that’s in home pools, lakes or rivers around our area. With May being National Water Safety Month, now is the time for 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.

Here are five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Don’t engage in breath holding activities

There are plenty of fun games to play in the water; breath-holding games are not one of them. 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.

4. Wear a life jacket

Inexperienced or non-swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

5. 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 and easily pull 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.

To learn more about ways to keep you and your family safe in and around the water, check out YMCA360 for video tips and discover more about our Swim Lessons and Safety Classes here.