Six swimming safety tips from the YMCA of Greater Providence
- Never swim alone. Teach children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty.
- Supervise children whenever they’re in water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure children are within arm’s reach at all times.
- Don’t engage in breath-holding activities. Children shouldn’t hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side-effects.
- 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 them underwater with them.
- Enroll children in water safety or swim lessons. Just like teaching your children to look both ways before they cross the street, participating in formal water safety lessons teaches them an important life skill.
Equip your children with water safety skills
Water is great fun but can also be deadly for young children. According to the YMCA of USA, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14, with children from communities in need at greatest risk. Swimming lessons are an important part of protecting your children.
The YMCA of Greater Providence is working on this issue by offering free swimming lessons to families who cannot afford to pay for them. The health organization recently received swim-lesson grants through the YMCA of USA. The grants have been distributed to three local branches; East Side/Mount Hope YMCA, Kent County YMCA, and Bayside Family YMCA in Barrington.
The grants allow the YMCA branches to offer 50, 75, or 100 swim lesson scholarships to children whose families cannot afford to purchase lessons. These children will have an opportunity to learn basic water safety skills, beach-safety tips, and have a chance to increase their physical activity through swimming. The Y’s swim program teaches children what to do if they find themselves in water unexpectedly.
“Safety around water is a priority for the Ocean State and we are proud to announce the Y-USA grants in support of this mission,” said Steven G. O’Donnell, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Providence. “Most recently we heard about tragic stories of children drowning and this program, coupled with following simple and basic summer safety tips, will allow us to expand our reach into communities in need to help ensure that children learn how to be safe in and around water this summer.”
For more information regarding the swim lesson scholarships or to sign a child up, contact:
- East Side/ Mount Hope YMCA at (401) 521 – 0155 or email@example.com
- Kent County YMCA at (401) 828 – 0130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- August 19th 10 am – 4 pm – Aquatic Safety Day, open to the public
- Bayside Family YMCA at (401) 245 – 2444 or email@example.com
About YMCA of Greater Providence
The YMCA of Greater Providence has enjoyed a long history of building healthy spirits, minds, and bodies through programs, services and relationships that are based upon its core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The organization, comprised of nine branches, is a valued resource for families and individuals who seek health and wellness in their lives. For more information, visit www.ymcagreaterprovidence.org.