YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina

YMCA Encourages Families to Prioritize Water Safety

The Y's swim programs offer a mix of fun, physical activity and safety to create a lifelong love of swimming

Published 05.06.19

During National Water Safety Month, the YMCA of Southeastern NC encourages children and parents to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind. In Y swim programs, participants can enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.   

“Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all individuals,” said Tom Addington, YMCA Aquatics Director. “Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for kids ages 1 to 14, claiming the lives of three children each day. Learning basic water safety skills saves lives, and is a great introduction to the world of swimming.”

As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the YMCA encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. Following are safety tips to practice 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. Each year, the YMCA of Southeastern NC offers free swim and water safety lessons through its Swim for Life program. This free program is designed to engage and educate families about the importance of water safety and provide area youth access to water safety lessons. The Y offers this program each spring, summer and fall for children and adults.

The Y is committed to water safety for all. This Water Safety Month, save lives by enrolling in swim lessons or giving to the Y. To learn more about the Y's swim programs, please visit https://www.ymcasenc.org/programs/swimming/