YMCA urges safety for summer swimming

Staff Report

Summer is just around the corner, and the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA encourages children and parents to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also staying safe.

“Research shows that participation in aquatics safety programs and swim lessons significantly reduces the risk of drowning,” said Margo Byrne, chief operations officer of the Channel Islands YMCA.

The YMCA encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming — beginning with water safety. Safety tips include:

  • Swim only when and where there is a lifeguard on duty.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Adults should constantly watch their children in and around the water.
  • Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.
  • Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • No one, child or adult, should engage in breath-holding activities.

In addition to learning life-saving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming.

Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem.

It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.

For more information about the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA, visit www.ciymca.org/stuartgildred or call 805-686-2037.