YMCA pool scene with adults supervising children to keep everyone safe in the water.

As part of National Water Safety Month, the YMCA of Central Kentucky is encouraging all adults in the community to play an active role in promoting water safety.  As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that’s in home or community pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. And that means the risk of drowning is ever present. Water safety needs to be top-of-mind as families start to return to their favorite summertime activities. We're sharing six tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all:

Make sure children know to always ask permission before going in or near the water. Teaching your children to be water smart is the first step in water safety – be sure they understand the importance of asking permission before going in or near the water.

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 waterfront, make sure your children are always within arm’s reach.

Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can be dangerous.

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.

Additionally, you can be involved locally by participating as a Water Watcher. All adults in the Central Kentucky community are encouraged to take the pledge to be aware and alert any time they're around bodies of water this summer, particularly in an effort to keep children safe. Learn more here and take the pledge by May 31 to be eligible to win a summer prize pack from the YMCA of Central Kentucky.

Together, let's make it the safest summer yet.

YMCA pool scene with adults supervising children to keep everyone safe in the water.