COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As pools begin to open for the summer, experts are reminding families of tips to keep the community safe while being in the water.
According to the American Red Cross, drowning is a leading cause of death for children in the United States. The agency states 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning. On average, two of them are under the age of 14, according to the American Red Cross website.
That is why the YMCA of Central Ohio is providing tips to the community to stay safe while having fun in the water this summer.
Aquatics Director with the Pickaway County Family YMCA Brittany Kaiser said the Y recommends swim lessons for those who are six months old or as soon as a child has good neck control.
“It’s a great time for anybody to learn swim lessons,” said Kaiser. “But the younger you get them in the water, the more likely they are to be successful down the road. That’s not to say don’t do any type of lessons prior to that, get your kids in the tub, do tub time with them, get water on their faces gently, get them used to being around the water.”
As many pools are set to open ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Kaiser said there are some tips families can use to make sure their kids are safe in the water including supervision.
“It doesn’t matter the age, it doesn’t matter how comfortable they are in the water, actively supervise your kids and engage with your kids,” said Kaiser. “Put the cellphones down, put the books down, actively be engaged with what they are doing around the water.”
Kaiser also recommends that everyone should start wearing life jackets in the water as well.
“Coast Guard approved life jackets are a great safety tool while you are in the water.”
According to the organization, the YMCA provided over 7,800 swim lessons to help children and families learn the skills they need when it comes to water and swim safety. This year, Kaiser said their goal is to provide more lessons to kids, teens and even adults who want to take an active part in swim safety.
According to the organization, the YMCA has also partnered with Columbus Public Health and their Pool Safety initiative where the Y will give 300 free swim lessons to those in Columbus.
Kaiser said anyone who wants to get started for lessons can go online where families can take a free quiz for placement, where the website would get you connected with one of the aquatics directors or swim instructors to find the best placement for lessons.
For more information on the YMCA of Central Ohio or swim lessons for your family, click here.