YMCA helps to make water safety a priority

Carolyn J. Stefanik YMCA

Summer is a time for fun and relaxation. But, often the enjoyment of swimming, boating, and camping overshadows the safety precautions that should take priority.

Summer activities put kids in danger of head injuries, insect bites, heat-related illness, and water-related injuries. Although most kids are just eager to get into the water, knowing basic water safety techniques can ensure a safe and fun day at the pool.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning is the second most common cause of death among children under the age of four. While it is obviously important for parents and caregivers to always closely supervise children around water, it is also beneficial for them to learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in case of an accident. Fencing in backyard pools and wearing lifejackets during all water-related activities are also good ways to ensure water safety.

But perhaps the most important way to ensure that kids have safe and fun aquatic experiences is to make sure they are skilled and confident swimmers. In order to ensure that children view aquatic activities as safe fun ways to relax and stay physically fit, the Galion YMCA offers swimming lessons for a variety of age and skill levels.

Children from ages three months to three years are eligible to participate in parent and child swim classes in which they will learn the foundational elements of swimming and water safety. There are also classes for beginning, intermediate, and advanced swimmers between the ages of three and five years, as well as for ages six and older.

Sessions are held twice per week, and are available to both YMCA members and nonmembers. Please visit galioncenterymca.org or call 419.468.7754 for more information about class times and prices.

For more information about summer water safety, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s H2O Smartz page at cdc.gov/bam/safety/h2o.html.