Thursday, April 19, 2012


We can’t wait to dive into summer at the Y! There’s nothing like that cool dip in the pool. But we want it to be a safe, fun experience.

We hate to brag, but the YMCA has been stressing the importance of swim lessons and swim safety since 1909. More than 100 years later, swimming remains a core program here at the YMCA of the Triangle.

At the Y, we believe swimming is a critical life skill for everyone in the family. That’s why we offer a wide variety of swim classes and swim teams.

“YMCA swim lessons are successful because of the relationships developed with children and families in our communities,” explains A.E. Finley YMCA Aquatics Director Justin Guest. “Children, and adults, learn more when they have a relationship with their instructor. They also know that relationship is built on the Y’s core values: respect, responsibility, honesty, caring and faith in God.”  

Justin urges you and your child to remember these important safety tips before you dive into the water.

Never swim alone.
Children (and adults!) should only swim under the supervision of a lifeguard or an adult who is a confident, experienced swimmer. Even in a shallow pool or lake, swimming alone is dangerous.

Only dive or jump into the deep end.
Jumping or diving into shallow water can result in hitting the bottom of a pool. This can cause a number of injuries including neck and back injuries.  You should also be careful because you don’t want to land on another swimmer!

Swim near the shore.
It’s a good idea to make sure that you can always touch the bottom of the ocean while your head is above water. Because of strong currents and tides, going out too deep is dangerous. Young swimmers should never go into the ocean without an adult.

Don’t swim in a thunderstorm.
Water is dangerous when lightning is in the area. Pools are required to close during thunderstorms. If you’re at the beach or a lake, it’s up to you to get out of the water when a storm rolls in.

Wear sunscreen.
It’s easy to forget about sunburn when you’re splashing around in the water, but don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly. And make sure to allow your sunscreen to sink in before jumping back in the water.

The only way to become a confident, skilled swimmer is to practice, practice, practice. Don’t be afraid to use floatation devices – whether a life jacket in a lake or floaties in the pool – to help as you learn. If you’re looking for more organized swim instruction, talk to someone at your local YMCA branch about the best class for your child.

Now that you’re armed with these swimming safety tips, you and your kids are ready to dive in!

What water adventures are you and your family looking forward to this summer?


  1. If you own a swimming pool, these tips are so important for your safety! I believe the main tip is never swimming alone as that can cause many accidents.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kenny! And we agree - swimming alone is never a good idea!