YMCA Encourages Families to Prioritize Water Safety

water safety

Asheville, N.C., May 7, 2020 – During National Water Safety Month in May, the YMCA of Western North Carolina encourages children and parents to keep water safety top of mind. While the Y’s doors may be closed, swimmers can still enhance or learn new techniques, develop confidence, and learn safety skills that can save lives.

“Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all individuals,” said Jessica Hendrix, executive director of the Asheville YMCA. “Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4, and the second-leading cause of accidental death for kids under 15. On average, the lives of three children per day end as a result of drowning, with many more ending up in the hospital due to near-drownings. Learning basic water safety skills saves lives, and is a great introduction to the world of swimming.”

As part of National Water Safety Month, the Y encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. Remember these safety tips when in and around the water:

• Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.

• Adults should constantly and actively watch their children in and around water.

• 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.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Swimming motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation, and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem.

As a prominent nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has long been a leader in providing swim and water safety lessons and looks forward to offering these programs again in the future.

The Y is committed to water safety for all. This Water Safety Month, save lives by following the tips above.