Safety Around Water

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Drowning poses a serious threat to children nationwide. It is the leading cause of accidental death for children one to four years of age. At the Y, everything we do is in service of making us—as individuals and as communities—better. That’s why more than 400 Y's across the country offer Safety Around Water, a program that teaches children (and adults) safe ways to enjoy aquatic activities.

May is Water Safety Month, so now is a perfect time to ensure kids have the skills to avoid dangerous situations in pools, lakes and other bodies of water. Talk to your Y staff about Safety Around Water and follow these tips for a safe and fun summer:

Appoint a “water watcher” to watch children during social gatherings at or near pools. This person should maintain constant visual contact with the children.

Establish and enforce rules. Do not allow children near drains, pipes or other openings. Do not allow children to play breath-holding games.
Maintain caution around bodies of water, even if you don't plan on swimming. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards pose a danger if someone falls into the water.

If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, make sure to remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use. Remove any other structures that could provide access to the pool such as outdoor furniture. The Y offers swim lessons for all ages. If you or your family are interested in improving your swimming and water safety skills, ask your local Y for more information about classes that fit your needs.

Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas