BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Davis Family YMCA in Boardman opened its outdoor pools for the summer season on Saturday with a two-hour community water safety event.
It was tagged the Splash into Summer Water Safety Event, now in its 11th year.
According to the YMCA, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages five to 14. So, this water safety education event was held for young swimmers and their parents.
“Every year we want to reach out to our community and help everyone understand the importance of being safe around the water,” said Chris Hughes, YMCA aquatic director.
Lifeguards taught children safety and survival skills for hanging out around the pool, like how to float on your back or tread water.
The first thing kids learned is to always ask for permission before swimming, and to make sure someone is there to watch them, within arms reach.
Hughes said the class will also taught children what not to do and to do if they get tired while swimming or are in danger.
“Also learning how to tread water so, in that moment where they’re not sure what to do, to be able to keep themselves above the water long enough to think how I can float on my back or return to the side,” he said.
Parents learned how to choose the proper life jacket for their kids, because it is highly suggested that children ages five and under wear some type of flotation device.
“If it has a printed label in it, it will actually say ‘US Coast Guard approved.’ It has an approval number and it actually has a printed weight. So, if it doesn’t have that it’s probably not a safe flotation device to use,” Hughes said.
Hughes recommends for kids to wear either life jackets or puddle jumpers, which go around their bodies and buckle in the back.
For more information, call the Davis Family YMCA at 330-480-5656.
The YMCA is also offering new summer membership packages, valid May 27 through Sept. 10 for $475.