71% of the World is Water, Children Are 100% Curious
Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The YMCA’s Safety Around Water and YMCA Swimming Lesson programs can help you make sure they learn essential water safety skills, which can open up a world of possibilities for them to satisfy their curiosity safely.
HELP KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE.
Drowning can happen nearly anywhere with standing water. But, as a parent or caregiver, you can’t keep your children sidelined. You need to equip them with the tools they need to be confident in and around water so they don’t lose out on the health benefits of exercise, the opportunities to bond with family and friends and the sense of accomplishment when they learn new skills.
YMCA SWIMMING LESSONS
Accompanied by a parent, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.
YMCA Swim Classes: Water Discovery, Water Exploration
Students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills:
• Swim, float, swim—sequencing front glide, roll, back float, roll, front glide, and exit
• Jump, push, turn, grab
YMCA Swim Classes: Water Acclimation, Water Movement, Water Stamina
Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.
YMCA Swim Classes: Stroke Introduction, Stroke Development, Stroke Mechanics
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WHAT IS SAFETY AROUND WATER?
This 8-day course, taught by a certified instructor, teaches children two sets of skills that will reduce the risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around water. A typical session includes:
- Exercises to help children adjust to being in water
- Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim,” two skill sets children can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water
- An activity that teaches children about specific safety topics such as pool rules and boating safety
- A fun game to encourage comfort and activity around water
Each lesson includes a handout for parents and caregivers with additional water safety tips.
The Gateway Family YMCA partners with local organizations to provide the Safety Around Water Program.
WATER SAFETY TIPS
As part of National Water Safety Month, The Gateway Family 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 reaction 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.