Summer is full of water activities and swimming. As you make memories with your family and friends, it is important to make water safety a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 4 years, and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages.
At the Y, our aquatics staff focus on safety to protect our members and the community. We conduct in-service trainings to ensure all our staff can quickly identify distressed swimmers and respond quickly and safely. Plus, all children under the age of 7 years and all non-swimmers are required to swim with an adult within arm’s reach.
Here are some valuable tips to keep you and your family safe around water:
- Swim only when supervised: Whether your child in swimming in three inches of water or three feet of water, they always need to be supervised. Even the strongest swimmer can become tired or injured. Children should be supervised by adults, rather than by other children.
- Use the buddy system: Always swim with a buddy, even when supervised by a lifeguard or at a public pool.
- Enroll in swim lessons: Enroll yourself, your children, and your spouse in swim lessons. At the Y, we not only teach adults and children how to swim, but also how to be safe in and around water. The Y is the leading organization for swim lessons.
- Learn CPR: The American Heart Association reports that CPR performed in the first few minutes can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival. At the Y, all our staff are certified in CPR and we offer trainings to the community.
- No breath-holding: Underwater breath-holding is very dangerous and can cause blackouts that lead to drowning. Make sure your children know not to participate in breath-holding contests.
- Use life jackets: While swimming or boating, wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. But remember, life jackets do not replace proper supervision and safety measures.
Feel free to contact the Aquatics staff at any of our Somerset County YMCA branches for more information and tips. Stay safe and have a wonderful summer!