May is National Water Safety Month
Three children die every day as a result of drowning according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). May is National Water Safety Month and YMCA of Philadelphia, YMCA of Delaware, YMCA of Bucks and Hunterdon Counties, North Penn YMCA and the YMCA of Greater Brandywine want to ensure that every area resident has access to quality and affordable water safety resources and instruction.
From oceans, lakes and swimming pools, water is everywhere: 71% of the Earth’s surface is water. And while water can be an irresistible place to explore, play and enjoy, it can be risky. As “America’s swim instructor,” the YMCA teaches children of all ages and from all backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, if you know how to stay safe in and around water. The YMCA is dedicated to ensuring that people of all ages are safe around water by providing swim lessons as well as education about water safety for families and individuals of all ages.
Year Round Reminders about Water Safety
• Never swim alone without a water watcher. Regardless of age, no one should swim alone without another adult watching. 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.
• Children must ask permission. Make sure children know to ask permission before going in or near the water. Teaching your children to be water smart is the first step in water safety – be sure they understand the importance of asking permission before going in or near the water.
• Supervise your children. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or waterfront, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times
• Don’t engage in breath-holding activities. Swimmers of all ages should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can be dangerous.
• Wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while in or around the water. Swimmies, floaties and inflatable floats are not recommended as floatation devices.
• Know the safe way to help a friend. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach a friend who is struggling in the water and pull them to safety. By using this technique, children can help their friends without compromising their own safety.