Community pools, including the more than 2,000 pools operated by Ys, are a center of family activity over the summer. They can also be a place where kids develop self-confidence and discover new ways to stay fit.
Safety measures are critical to keeping the season safe and fun though (drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages 14 and under). Highly trained lifeguards help keep Y pools safe. You can do your part by following these water safety tips:
- Be a “Water Watcher.” Maintain constant visual contact with all children playing in or near pools and other bodies of water.
- Make sure young children or inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket and stay within arms reach.
- Don’t let kids play breath-holding games.
More than 1,200 Y branches nationwide deliver Safety Around Water programs, enabling more kids (and adults) to develop healthy habits and build self-esteem while enjoying safe and splashy summer fun.
Drowning is a serious issue in nearly every community…and more prevalent than you think.
Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years old. And, the problem is particularly acute among minority communities. African-American children ages 5 to 14 are three times more likely to drown than white children of the same age.
If asked, most parents can immediately rattle off a list of basic life skills they instinctively know their children must learn to be safe and healthy. These lists usually include habits like looking both ways before crossing the street, washing hands with soap and water (timed by singing the “Happy Birthday” song) and eating the correct daily serving of fruits and vegetables.
According to a recent national study Opens a new window conducted at Ys by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis at YMCAs, 64 percent of African-American and 45 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, compared to just 40 percent of Caucasian children. Equally concerning, 87 percent of those swimmers with no or low ability plan to go to a swimming facility at least once during the summer months and 34 percent plan to swim 10 or more times.
Y swim lessons teach kids how to be confident in and around the water, learn more at ymcacky.org/swim.