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Thursday, December 8, 2022

The Y – Help make children safer around water


As we navigate our new normal as a City and identifying ways to enjoy the summer, many families have decided to purchase backyard swimming pools for their children to enjoy. The Naperville YMCA believes it is never too young to start swimming, but safety must be a priority. No matter how big or small the pool is, children around water can be dangerous and safety should be the priority.

The YMCA encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming – beginning with water safety. Parents and caregivers should understand the risks related to drowning.

The following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

  • Never swim alone
  • Adults should constantly and actively watch their children
  • Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket
  • Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach
  • Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities

The Red Cross stresses Water Competency and knowing how to respond in an emergency:

  • Recognizing the signs of someone in trouble and call for help
  • Knowing how to rescue the person without putting yourself in danger
  • Starting CPR

Additionally the Red Cross has a free App called Red Cross Swim that features drowning prevention and response information as well as water safety information for home pools.

Swimming is a great way to increase physical activity. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem.

For generations staying safe around water meant keeping kids away from water, but it’s time to start a new family tradition by learning basic water safety skills. Safety around water is a great starting point to not only get kids comfortable in the water, but also teach parents and caregivers the importance of developing water safety skills. Wishing everyone a fun and safe summer!

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Erika Wood
Erika Woodhttp://www.ymcachicago.org/pages/safe-n-sound-staff
Erika Wood is the Executive Director of the YMCA Safe ‘n Sound. Contact her at ewood@ymcachicago.org.

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