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The YMCA of Greater Seattle is offering tips for parents to keep kids safe in and around water this summer

In King County’s eagerness to jump into summer, The YMCA of Greater Seattle wants to ensure water safety isn’t lost. Cooling off is top of mind as we plunge into summer, whether at in-home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. Anytime we enjoy the water, the risk of drowning dramatically increases. During National Water Safety Month in May, the Y encourages parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety skills with the whole family.   

“As ‘America’s Swim Instructor,’ the Y annually teaches thousands of children life-saving water safety and swimming skills,” said Loria Yeadon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of Greater Seattle. “Now more than ever, it’s important to remind parents and caregivers that water safety must be a top priority as families look forward to their favorite summertime activities and having fun.”   

As part of National Water Safety Month, the Y encourages parents to actively promote water safety and register their youth for Y swim lessons while 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 swim, 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.   

Always provide vigilant supervision for your children whenever they are in or close to water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or waterfront, ensure your children are always within arm’s reach. 

Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Both adults and 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 jacket.   

Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If an adult or 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 they are 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 an adult or child can help their friend without compromising their own safety.  


To learn more about the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s swim programs, visit  


About the YMCA of Greater Seattle 

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is the Northwest’s leading nonprofit organization, strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Founded in 1876, the Y reaches more than 206,632 people of all backgrounds, abilities, and financial circumstances annually through 14 branches, three overnight camp properties, and more than 200 program sites throughout King, south Snohomish and Lewis counties. The Y nurtures more than 97,000 kids and teens to develop their gifts and give back to our community while engaging thousands of volunteers who contribute hundreds of thousands of hours of service each year. Visit  



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