My brothers and I always got to go to the games, meet the players and get their autographs. I was even on the cover of the spring training magazines a few times.

I still love the Yankees. But since moving to Arizona in 2017 to work for Valley of the Sun YMCA, I root for the Dbacks now too.

At the Y, we are training for life just like the baseball players are training for the regular season. Through practicing new fitness habits, developing routines for our children, taking classes to get that summer job or practicing skills to make our lives better or safer – we are all in some type of “training”. Uniquely in Arizona, March brings the start of much warmer weather and for many, getting back into the pool. Late spring and summer are actually when most drownings and near-drownings occur. At this time of year, there are things we all can do to train to be safe. We ask that Y members use the month of March to get prepared to help prevent drownings.

Whether you have children in your home or grandkids, nieces and nephews or neighbors coming to visit, now is a good time to ensure they’ll have a safe swimming season.

Fortunately, preventing drownings is as easy as knowing your ABCs:
A is for adult. One should always be with children when they’re around water. And the adult needs to be focused on watching the kids and nothing else—not reading, talking on the phone or doing yard work too.
B is for barrier. Make sure there is one to prevent access to any body of water. Barriers include locked fences around pools, closed toilet lids, and closed bathroom doors. Young children can drown in any pool of water.
C is for classes and Coast Guard approved life vests. Classes include swimming lessons for any non-swimmers and CPR classes for adults so they know what to do in case of emergency. Anyone who does not know how to swim should wear a Coast Guard approved life vest in the water. Floaties are toys and don’t count!

Following are some other pool-safety tips:

  • Do not allow children to play in or around the pool area.
  • Mount life-saving devices near the pool.
  • Keep tables, chairs, and ladders away from pool fences.
  • Check placement of doggie doors for direct access to the pool area.
  • Post your local emergency number on the phone or teach your kids how to unlock your cellphone to call 911.

Click here for a schedule of swimming lessons and Safety Around Water classes. We have offerings for all ages and levels of experience.  At the Y, we also offer monthly Y Lifeguard certification classes. If you or someone in your family is already thinking about that summer job, they can start “training” to be a lifeguard at the Y.
Taking these steps now will help you get ready for a safe, healthy and fun summer. In the meantime, I’ll see you at spring training!

Jackie Gizzi
Executive Director of Leadership Development and Risk Management