May is National Water Safety Month
Three children die every day as a result of drowning according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). May is National Water Safety Month and YMCA of Philadelphia, YMCA of Delaware, YMCA of Bucks and Hunterdon Counties, North Penn YMCA and the YMCA of Greater Brandywine want to ensure that every area resident has access to quality and affordable water safety resources and instruction.
From oceans, lakes and swimming pools, water is everywhere: 71% of the Earth’s surface is water. And while water can be an irresistible place to explore, play and enjoy, it can be risky. As "America's swim instructor," the YMCA teaches children of all ages and from all backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, if you know how to stay safe in and around water. The YMCA is dedicated to ensuring that people of all ages are safe around water by providing swim lessons as well as education about water safety for families and individuals of all ages.
Year Round Reminders about Water Safety
- Never swim alone without a water watcher. Regardless of age, no one should swim alone without another adult watching. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.
- Children must ask permission. Make sure children know to ask permission before going in or near the water. Teaching your children to be water smart is the first step in water safety – be sure they understand the importance of asking permission before going in or near the water.
- Supervise your children. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or waterfront, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times
- Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Swimmers of all ages should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can be dangerous.
- Wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while in or around the water. Swimmies, floaties and inflatable floats are not recommended as floatation devices.
- Know the safe way to help a friend. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach a friend who is struggling in the water and pull them to safety. By using this technique, children can help their friends without compromising their own safety.
May is National Water Safety Awareness Month
As summer begins and families plan outdoor parties, vacations and beach trips, the Y reminds the entire community to educate themselves about the importance of water safety for all members of the family, especially children as drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4.
Our Water Safety and Swim Programs:
YMCA of Bucks and Hunterdon Counties in partnership with our regional YMCA associations wants to ensure that every area resident has access to quality and affordable water safety resources and instruction. Opportunities for children and adults to learn swim and water safety skills at our Ys are available seasonally and year-round:
- Swim Testing - Unsure about the swim ability of a child or adult. Contact the aquatics director at your branch via email to set up a free swim evaluation:
- Fairless Hills
- Flemington (Deer Path)
- Test, Mark, Protect. All children entering the water at a YMCA facility, whether at our camps or branch, are subject to the Test, Mark, Protect policy in order to protect non-swimmers:
- Test - to determine swimming ability. Those who choose not to test, or children under 7, may be designated as non-swimmers, restricting them to the shallowest parts of the pool.
- Mark - bathers are marked to clearly identify their swimming ability. Many YMCAs use different colored wristbands to differentiate.
- Protect - Non-swimmers, especially young children, are restricted to the shallowest parts of the pools, requiring additional levels of protection including active engagement in staff supervised swim lesson or active supervision by an adult within arm’s reach and wearing a properly fitted life jacket
- Safety Around Water. Our association provides free water safety classes to community youth through our (name of program).
- Swim lessons. Children and adults who do not already know how to swim and/or be safe in and around the water are encouraged to enroll in a basic swim class at the Y. Swim lessons teach life-saving skills. Financial assistance (hyperlink) is available to those who qualify.
- Certified Instructors and Lifeguard. YMCA pools and aquatics centers are staffed with certified instructors and lifeguards according to state bathing standards, with all eyes on our swimmers.