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Important Water Safety Tips

YMCA of Greater Kansas City
June 21, 2018
Tips to Make Water Safety a Priority

As part of the Y’s commitment to eliminate drowning, the Y encourages you to always make safety your first priority as you enjoy the various benefits of swimming.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages one to 14 years old, and the leading cause of unintentional death for ages 1 to 4. 

Water Safety Tips

Take an active role in your child’s safety. Practice these safety tips 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. That means avoid distracting activities such as texting, talking on the phone, reading and drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • 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.

Look for Signs of Distress

Be vigilant and look for swimmers showing signs of distress before it progresses to a serious situation or drowning.

Real-life drowning doesn't look like it does in the movies where someone is splashing and screaming in the water. The signs of someone struggling are actually very different.

Look for these signs to identify a swimmer in distress:

  • Mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back as the person tries to float
  • Eyes glassy or closed
  • Quiet voice, with no talking or screaming, as the swimmer struggles for air
  • Bobbing up and down in the water but not making any forward progress

What should you do if you see if you see a swimmer in distress? Reach out to them with a pool noodle, another flotation device or a towel that they can grab, and pull them to safety. 

Learn to Swim at the Y

To help make sure everyone can be safe in the water, the Y offer swim lessons for all ages. Children as young as 6 months old can begin in Parent/Child classes, and group lessons begin for ages 3 and older. Take our swim assessment to determine which level is the best fit for your child, or our check out our Adult Swim Lessons for yourself. 

Thanks to generous donations, the Y is able to offer financial assistance to individuals and families unable to pay the stated fees.