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YMCA offers swimming safety tips for summer

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:52 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As the weather heats up, we spend more time around water. While lakes, rivers and pools offer a lot of fun, they can also be dangerous.

Child drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s data shows that there were, on average, 379 reported pool or spa-related drownings per year for 2015 through 2017.

“The biggest piece of advice I can give families before they come out to the pool is make sure your kids know how to swim,” said Morgan Burch, aquatics coordinator for the YMCA of Greater Montgomery.

Burch says you should have layers of protection when swimming.

That includes teaching your child how to swim, using life jackets for those who don’t know how to swim, and swimming in areas with lifeguards.

Burch adds that lifeguards should not replace a parent’s watchful eye.

“I would definitely recommend and encourage parents to stay on the pool deck wherever their kids are swimming. Just keep an extra eye on them,” he said.

Burch cautions that it’s not just young kids who get into trouble in the water.

“A lot of times athletes will come out and swim. And they’ll try to push their limits. They’ll try to do things that they know they can’t do or they don’t feel comfortable doing. And they’ll push themselves to a point of where they will be a drowning victim,” he said.

Burch says it’s important for all swimmers to take breaks throughout the day.

“Get them out for a few minutes. Let them rest. Don’t get too tired in the pool,” he said.

The YMCA offers swim lessons if you are interested. They start with children as young as 6 months old.

Burch also recommends that parents learn CPR.

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