The Greater Scranton YMCA Offering Tips to Keep Kids Safe

The Greater Scranton YMCA wants to ensure that water safety doesn’t get lost in our community’s eagerness to jump into summer. As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that is in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. And that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever. For National Water Safety Month this May, the Greater Scranton YMCA is encouraging parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety skills with the whole family.
“As ‘America’s Swim Instructor,’ the Greater Scranton YMCA annually teaches more than 1,250 children valuable water safety and swimming skills,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Now more than ever, it’s important to remind parents and caregivers that water safety needs to be top-of-mind as families start to return to their favorite summertime activities.”
As part of National Water Safety Month, the Greater Scranton YMCA is encouraging parents to play an active role in promoting water safety and providing five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all.

Make sure children know to always ask permission before going in or near the water. Teaching your children to be water smart is the first step in water safety – be sure they understand the importance of asking permission before going in or near the water.
Never swim alone or without a water watcher. When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty, or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.

Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or waterfront, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times.
Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can be dangerous.
Wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life

Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds
their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in the water
to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower
them, pulling the rescuer underwater. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the
“reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to
safety. By using this technique children can help their friend without compromising their
own safety.
To learn more about the Greater Scranton YMCA’s swim programs, please contact Leslie
Kopa, Aquatics Director, at (570) 828-3112 or