With summer vacation just about upon us, it won’t be long before children will be diving into swimming pools, lakes and quarries. But fun in the water can quickly turn to tragedy. That’s why it’s important for children to learn water safety and swimming skills before taking the plunge.
As the nation’s oldest and largest community-based organization and among the country’s most trusted providers of aquatics programs, the YMCA offers the following tips to help parents keep their children safe and injury-free in the water this summer:
• Actively supervise your children when they are both in and around the water.
• Teach children to swim at an early age, and educate them early about water safety.
• Make sure children swim within designated areas and stay within your sight.
• Instruct children to never run, push or jump on others in and around the pool. • Become certified in infant and child CPR.
• Make sure children always wear life jackets and use proper water safety devices.
• Ensure that kids drink plenty of fluids to stay properly hydrated, especially on hot days.
• Wear hats and sunglasses and apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher to protect yourself and your children from sun exposure.
• Keep your child’s ears dry to prevent ear infection.
From June 15 to 19, the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo will offer its Splash program, a free week-long program for beginner swimmers ages 3 to 12. The program includes water safety and basic swimming skills instruction, character development activities and parent information.
YMCA/JCC Splash will be held at nine area locations including six YMCAs, the JCC, Camp Courageous (through the Anthony Wayne YMCA) and the Boys and Girls Club (through the Summit and Wayman Palmer YMCAs).
“We’re extremely proud to be able to offer this much-needed service to families in our community. Over the past 12 years, more than 35,000 children and parents have participated in Splash, and we hope they learned some important skills that they can use for the rest of their lives,” said Robert Alexander, president and CEO of the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo.
Splash 2009 is sponsored by Flavor Splash, a registered trademark of Aquafina and PepsiCo, Inc., DiSalle Real Estate Co., Toledo Building Services, First Solar and BCSN.
For more information, call 419-729-SUMMER (7866) or visit ymcatoledo.org.