Water Safety | West Suburban YMCA

May is National Water Safety Month

May 01, 2018

Take the Safe Swimmer Pledge!

Download It Here

In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities in the United States, and the resulting need for ongoing public education on safer water practices, the month of May is designated as National Water Safety Month!
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 5 to 14. With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for parents to go over water safety guidelines with their children. The West Suburban YMCA offers swimming programs for people of all ages. Signing your kids up for lessons or enrolling with your child in a Parent and Me swim course is the best way to ensure their safety.
Before letting your children hit the water this summer, remember these few tips to guarantee a fun and safe experience for everyone.
  1. Always ask for permission before entering the water - Get your children in the habit of asking permission before they enter any body of water. This establishes a communication pattern so that kids don’t swim unsupervised.
  2. Never swim alone - Constant supervision is essential whether it’s during bath time or while taking a dip. Make sure that your children are within arm’s reach of you at all times when near the water.
  3. Don’t engage in breath holding activities - Children shouldn’t hold their breath for a prolonged period of time regardless of if they’re in the water or not. Doing so may lead to death or other severe physical side-effects.
  4. Wear a Life Jacket - Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket when around water.
  5. Don’t jump in to save someone who is struggling in deep water - When you see someone struggling in deep water, your natural reaction may be to jump in and try to save him/her. Even if you are a great swimmer, a panicked person could overpower you and pull you under with them. Instead, call for assistance and use a long object to reach for them and pull him/her to safety. You could also toss him/her a flotation device. This allows you to help without risking your own safety.
  6. Enroll your children in swim lessons - Just like teaching your children to look both ways before they cross the street, having them participate in formal swim lessons teaches them an important life skill. The WSYMCA’s swim lessons include the instruction of water safety skills. This ensures that they are able to enjoy the water safely while striving for physical achievement, which in turn builds confidence and promotes healthy living.


To find out more about the WSYMCA’s swim programs, visit www.wsymca.org/swimming. For more water safety tips, visit www.ymca.net/watersafety.