Fayette Family YMCA spreads water safety awareness


The Record-Herald



As part of National Water Safety Month, the Fayette County Family YMCA is providing fourth grade students from Washington Court House and Miami Trace school districts the opportunity to participate in the annual water safety program sponsored by Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH).

The program kicked off on Monday with assemblies at both schools with YMCA staff teaching them about various aquatic environments and the responsibilities of lifeguards. The classrooms then take turns coming to the YMCA throughout the rest of the week for hands-on water safety instruction in the YMCA pool. This includes getting in and out of a canoe and how to wear a life jacket correctly.

At the conclusion of the program, each fourth grader is presented with a certificate for a free summer membership to the YMCA.

“Swimming is not only a fun, healthy activity, but an important life skill for all children,” said Doug Saunders, CEO of the Fayette County Family YMCA. “Learning basic water safety skills is a great introduction to the world of swimming that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs.”

As part of National Water Safety Month, the Fayette YMCA encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety.

They offered these 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.

* Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. 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.

National Water Safety Month is a joint effort of the American Red Cross, The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the National Recreation and Park Association and the World Waterpark Association. The event is celebrated by these organizations, participants, sponsors and thousands of aquatics facilities and professionals through educational programs, public service announcements, governmental proclamations, dealer and aquatics business promotions, and the distribution of water-safety-themed materials, aimed primarily at the public, and designed to help prevent drowning and water-related illness and injuries.

As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 14 years. The Fayette 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 family swim, competitive swimming and swim lessons. To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, financial assistance is available to those in need to help cover the costs.

To learn more about the YMCA’s swim programs, please contact Jerrod Ralph (740) 335-0477.

This article was submitted by The Fayette County Family YMCA.

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The Record-Herald

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