For Arizona kids, August is a time to pick out a new backpack, cool off in the pool and watch monsoon storms roll through the Valley. But it’s also one of the most critical times of year for child drownings. The month of August was chosen as Drowning Impact Awareness Month because water-incident numbers tend to rise statewide due to back-to-school distractions and lax water safety rules at the end of summer. The Valley of the Sun YMCA has stepped in to help curb this devastating problem.
Help us increase water-safety awareness within the community. The more we get the word out, the more likely we are to prevent another death. The Valley of the Sun YMCA’s Water Watcher Campaign and Swim Lesson program can help you make sure everyone learns essential water-safety skills, which can open up a world of possibilities for them to satisfy their curiosity safely.
Become a Water Watcher!
Pick up a Water Watcher tag at your local YMCA and pledge to be a Water Watcher. This means making sure all kids are being “watched” while in or around the water.
Water Watcher Pledge:
I pledge to be a Water Watcher to keep kids safe in and around the water. I agree to:
- Actively watch the children;
- Keep my eyes on the water;
- Avoid distractions; and
- In an emergency pull all children out of the water, call 911 and begin CPR.
Swim Lessons and Water Safety Skills
Each year, the Valley of the Sun YMCA teaches thousands of Valley children and adults invaluable water safety and swimming skills. Thanks to our reach, the YMCA is in a unique position to help bridge the gap in the delivery of swim lessons and water safety education in Arizona, especially in underserved communities.
Our Swim Lesson Program focuses on key water-safety skills to reinforce water safety.
- Exercises to help kids adjust to being in the water
- Instruction in “Jump, Push, Turn, Grab” and “Swim, Float, Swim,” two skill sets kids can use if they unexpectedly find themselves in the water
- Specific safety topics, like what to do if you see someone in the water who needs help
There are three progressive categories of Y Swim Lessons
- Swim Starters develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children ages 6 months to 3 years. This category focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents and how to plan for emergencies.
- Swim Basics develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills for students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.
- Swim Strokes introduces and refines stroke techniques in older students (school age, teens, and adults). Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water-safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.