Swim Safely

Jessica Aframe Summer is approaching and after a brutal winter, we are all excited about heading to the local pools, lakes and beaches this summer. Before you and the kids suit­up, take a moment to think and talk about water safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional death in the United States. Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut is committed to helping families to make safety a top priority! Here are some general recommendations from the CDC regarding water safety:

  •  Supervise children when in and around water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children swimming or playing in or around water (this includes the bath tub!).
  •  Use the buddy system. Children should always swim with a buddy and choose swimming areas that have lifeguards on duty.
  •  Air­filled or foam toys are not safety devices. Don’t use air­filled or foam toys, such as “water wings,” “noodles” or “puddle­jumpers,” instead of life jackets. These toys are not life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  •  Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant and careful supervision is still important. The Y has a robust swimming program (group & private lessons) that will teach kids, teens and adults how to swim. The spring term begins on April 20th and runs through June 14th. Call today to register! Registration remains open throughout the term. Below is a summary of the Y’s spring swimming programs. For more detailed information, click here to see the program guide. For questions, please contact Jeffrey Bonaccorso, Aquatic Director by phone 203 775­4444 ext. 133 or email jbonaccorso@regionalymca.org Parent & Child (6mos­3 years) The Y’s parent & child programs (Shrimp/Inia) are a great way to introduce children to an aquatic environment. Toddlers and parents work on independent skills, including body control and balance. Parents will be coached on basic water safety skills. As children grow, the Perch (19­36 months) class will guide children with and without their parents as they begin to combine the skills of kicking, pulling and blowing bubbles to form basic strokes. Classes are all 30 minutes. Pre­School (3­5 years) From first time swimmers to budding beginners, the Y offers a series of classes that enable young children to build confidence, become independent in the water, learn basic water survival/safety skills, develop proper swim strokes and eventually swim on their own. Classes are all 30 minutes. Goldfish (S.N.A.P.) 3 + A customized aquatic program tailored for children with special needs to develop water safety/swimming skills. The program is focused on developing self­confidence and self­esteem. Classes are 30 minutes and parental participation is optional. Youth 6­13 The Y’s dynamic youth swim program offers is a series of progressive classes for first­time swimmers all the way through to competitive swimming. Kids & tweens will focus on refining their swim strokes, breathing and endurance. Classes are all 45 minutes. Swimming lessons are also available over the summer at the Y’s Camp. For more information, visit regionalymca.org/camp.html.

For Youth Development, Healthy Living, Social Responsibility Brookfield, CT regionalymca.org

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