Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers swim lessons all summer long and in 2-week sessions.

Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to be:

1.       Never swim alone. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty.

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2.       Supervise your children whenever they’re in water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure your children are within arm’s reach of you at all time.

3.       Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children shouldn’t hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side-effects.

4.       Wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. 

5.       Enroll your children in water safety or swim lessons. Just like teaching your children to look both ways before they cross the street, having them participate in swim lessons teaches them an important life skill. The Westfield Area YMCA teaches children how to swim and fundamental water safety skills.

Learning how to swim also has multiple benefits beyond the ability to enjoy water safely. It helps children strive for physical achievement, promotes healthy living and builds their confidence.

Register now at the Welcome Center or at www.westfieldynj.org.  To learn more, contact Rob Faggiano, Aquatics Director, at 908-301-9622 x276 or Sharon London, Assistant Aquatics Director, at 908-301-9622 x253.  The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.