DIVE INTO SUMMER WITH THE “ABCs” OF WATER SAFETY – By Shelbi Schmidt & JT Turner
Get ready to beat the heat and dive into fun this summer! With endless options for aquatic adventures, from backyard pool parties to thrilling trips to the beach, everyone enjoys the opportunity to make a splash and cool off. But with great fun comes great responsibility.
Drowning is a leading cause of accidental injury and death for children under 5 in Arizona and Water Safety should be at the top of your priority list. Don’t let that scare you away from the water though! By following the ABCs of Water Safety, you can ensure that your family enjoys a summer of safe and unforgettable aquatic experiences. So, whether you’re soaking up the sun by the pool, catching some waves on a family vacation to the beach, or exploring one of Arizona’s stunning lakes or rivers, make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge and tools to keep your loved ones safe.
“A” – ADULT SUPERVISION
At the YMCA, we refer to it as “ACTIVE” Adult Supervision, which means going the extra mile to ensure the safety of everyone around all kinds of water. To maintain this level of safety, we suggest that the supervising adult concentrate entirely on monitoring the children and refrain from multitasking or getting distracted. That’s right! This means setting aside the latest edition of your favorite magazine and keeping your mobile device completely out of reach! Additionally, it is essential for children to seek permission before entering any body of water, and for adults to keep a watchful eye on them at all times. For young children who cannot swim, it is advisable for the supervising adult to remain within arm’s reach of them while they are in the water.
“B” – BARRIERS
To prevent children from wandering into the water unsupervised, the YMCA recommends multiple layers of protection. This includes child locks on sliding glass doors, door alarms, power safety pool covers, and most importantly, pool fences. The pool fence should be high enough to deter children from climbing over it and have a lock that is out of reach. The pool gate door should also be self-closing and self-latching, and, ideally, fencing should surround the pool completely for optimal security.
“C” – EDUCATION
The YMCA believes that water safety education and lifesaving swimming skills should be accessible to everyone. Swimming lessons are not only fun, but they also save lives, and the YMCA’s Safety Around Water program focuses on drowning prevention by teaching students essential skills such as entering and exiting the water safely, floating, and reaching the side of the pool.
The best part? Valley of the Sun YMCA will be offering free swimming lessons at all of its pools on weekdays throughout the month of May! This is an incredible opportunity for individuals of all ages to “make a splash” and acquire lifesaving skills while having a great time. Registration is currently open!