National Water Safety Month
YMCA OF GREATER WAUKESHA COUNTY
HAVE FUN, BE CONFIDENT, STAY SAFE
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
As summer approaches and the weather heats up, more time is spent near and in the water. That's why May is the perfect time to observe safer water practices with National Water Safety Month!
Did You Know?
- 88% of kids who drown, do so under adult supervision.1
- Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of death for kids ages 5-14.2
- 60% of kids who drown are within 10 feet of safety.3
We have good news -- drowning is preventable! Together, we can all learn to be safer around water. The Y has some tips and information for parents and children to become more water-smart, develop their swimming skills, and know how to help others.
Tips for Staying Safe This Summer
The Y recommends children and adults practice the following safety tips when in and around the water:
LEARN TO SWIM | The best thing anyone - children AND adults - can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. Swimming lessons save lives!
NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED | Parents are the first line of defense in keeping kids safe in the water. Never leave children unattended near water, not even for a minute. If your child’s in the water, you should be too! Always assign a responsible adult as the designated Water Watcher who will keep a constant watch on any children in the water.
NEVER SWIM ALONE OR IN UNSUPERVISED PLACES | Teach your children to always ASK PERMISSION before they go near or into water and to swim with a buddy. Always assign a responsible adult as the designated Water Watcher.
SPIT IT OUT | Teach kids not to drink the pool water. To prevent choking, never chew gum or eat while swimming, diving or playing in water.
USE APPROVED SWIM DIAPERS | Regular baby diapers are made to absorb liquid and will only hold so much water before the absorbent material inside the diaper will explode and damage pool filtration systems.
AVOID WATER WINGS | Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as “water wings”) in place of life jackets or life preservers for children. Using air-filled swimming aids can give parents and children a false sense of security, which may increase the risk of drowning. These air-filled toys are not designed to be personal-flotation devices and can easily deflate if they become punctured or unplugged.
The Importance of Water Watchers
Use the checklist below to understand your role as a Water Watcher in keeping kids safe when you are responsible for supervising them:
- Actively watch children who are in and around water.
- Keep my eyes on the water.
- Avoid distractions like talking on the phone, socializing, reading, or running to the cooler for a quick snack!
- Keep a phone nearby for emergencies.
- Remain by the water until relieved by a new Water Watcher. We recommend adults taking turns as Water Watchers every 15-20 minutes.
Make Safety a Family Affair
Get the entire family involved! Download our printable Family Pledge Cards and Water Watcher Cards. Commit to safety around water - together!
Ready, Set, Save!
READY | Prepare by create layers of protection between the water and your children with non-climable fences, self-closing fence gates, and alarms on doors or windows leading to the water. Be able to perform CPR if needed. Most importantly, enroll children in swim lessons.
SET | Never leave your child alone near a pool, spa, bathtub, toilet, bucket or any standing water in which a child’s nose or mouth may be submerged. Assign an adult Water Watcher, have access to a phone, and wear personal floatation devices (PFDs) that are Coast Guard approved.
SAVE | In the case of a water safety incident, call 911. Throw! Don't go. Throw rescue equipment to the victim. Begin CPR while waiting for assistance.
Learn Swim Skills at the Y
Reap the Lifelong Benefits of Learning How to Swim
As part of our commitment to strengthening the community, we offer a variety of swim lessons to help youth and adults experience the joys and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident, and secure in the water.
YMCA Swim League is the natural progression from swim lessons, continuing your child's love of swimming while providing an ideal environment for cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development.
1 Safe Kids Worldwide. (2007). Safe kids U.S. summer safety ranking report. Retrieved from www.safekids.org/research-report/safe-kids-us-summer-safety-ranking-report-april-2007
2 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2012). Safety barrier guidelines for residential pools. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/
3 Safe Kids Worldwide. (2007). Safe kids U.S. summer safety ranking report. Retrieved from www.safekids.org/research-report/safe-kids-us-summer-safety-ranking-report-april-2007