As the season turns from winter to spring, the Woodruff Family YMCA, a branch of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA encourages children and parents in the community to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind. In Y swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives. “It’s never too early to get children involved in swimming—it’s an important for safety reasons, but also a great way to keep active and healthy,” said Josh Royce, Woodruff Family YMCA Executive Director. “There are so many options for parents, but the best place to start is by learning basic water safety skills that helps get kids familiar with the water that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs and can even lead to a career.”
As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the Woodruff Family YMCA encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. Following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:
- Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone;
- Adults should constantly and actively watch their children;
- Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket;
- Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach; and
- Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.
In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, swimming is a great way to increase physical activity. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.
As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety. The Woodruff Family YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose, including lap swims, open swims, family swims and family movie nights in the pool. To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, financial assistance may be available to those in need to help cover the costs.
The Y will be offering free Safety Around Water programs for community youth on May 6 and May 20 with pre-registration. To learn more about the Woodruff Family YMCA’s swim programs, please visit woodruffymca.org or call 203 878 6501.