children swimming in the pool

As communities return to “normal,” this summer following the Coronavirus pandemic, water safety should be top of mind. NC YMCAs want to ensure that water safety doesn’t get lost in our state's eagerness to return to a “normal” summer. As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that is in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. And that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever.

For National Water Safety Month this May, NC YMCAs are encouraging parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety skills with the whole family. 

Water Safety Month - Thank you video PSA

Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all individuals. Yet drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4, and the second-leading cause of accidental death for kids under 15. On average, the lives of three children per day end as a result of drowning, with many more ending up in the hospital due to near-drownings. Learning basic water safety skills saves lives, and is a great introduction to the world of swimming and lifelong health.

Remember these safety tips when in and around the water: 

•    Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
•    Adults should constantly and actively watch their children in and around water. 
•    Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.  
•    Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach. 
•    Children and adults should not engage in breath-holding activities.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Swimming motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. 

Check out swim programs at your local Y

(May 1, 2021)