UNION COUNTY, NJ – As the season turns from spring to summer, The Gateway Family YMCA encourages children and parents to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind. In Y swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.
“It’s never too early to get children involved in swimming—it’s an important for safety reasons, but also a great way to keep active and healthy,” said Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “In fact, newer studies show that children as young as 1 year old can benefit from formal swim lessons. There are so many options for parents, but the best place to start is by learning basic water safety skills that helps get kids familiar with the water that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs and can even lead to a career,” added Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO.
As part of National Water Safety Month in May, The Gateway Family YMCA encouraged parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. The following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:
- Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
- Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.
- Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.
In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, swimming is a great way to increase physical activity. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.
As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for over 100 years. The Gateway Family YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose, including swimming lessons, safety around water, family swim, competitive swimming and private lessons. To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, financial assistance is available to those in need to help cover the costs.
The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and stands For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility. The Gateway Family YMCA impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faith or incomes. The Y does not just strengthen bodies – it strengthens people, families and communities.
To learn more about The Gateway Family YMCA’s swim programs, please contact the Five Points Branch (908) 688-9622 or the Rahway Branch (732) 388-0057.