Water safety can help your children stay afloat this summer

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – As temperatures rise and families head to pools, lakes, and beaches this summer, it’s important to keep water safety in mind.

Knowing just enough to keep your head above water isn’t enough when it comes to water safety for our kids. Summer is just around the corner, so before your children make a splash, make sure they’re prepared.

Drownings can happen whether it’s a kiddie pool, lake, or beach.

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one through four, and the second for children ages five to nine.

Certified lifeguard Kamryn Johnson said there’s a risk of drowning any time water is present.

“They can drown in anything, doesn’t have to be a kiddie pool,” Johnson said. “They could drown in one foot of water. That’s why some of these places like we have, they’ll have two or more pools. They’ll have a small pool for babies to swim around in or tap their hands, and then we have big pools like this that go all the way to eight feet. It does not matter. If there’s room enough to have their face down and to lay down then they could drown.”

Pool noodles and kickboards are designed to help new swimmers develop their form. But these floatation devices should be used as tools, not a substitute for knowing how to swim.

“Noodles help you to an extent. Once you get in the water and you’re not comfortable like you need to be, then anything can happen. It can slip right from under you if you’re not holding the kickboard correctly. When I see life jackets, you’re not really doing anything swim-wise. You’re kinda just floating around. Some children think it’s fun but I mean I would rather them learn how to swim and be comfortable, and if they don’t feel safe, it could just go downhill in three seconds,” said Johnson.

Johnson said enrolling your child in swimming lessons, no matter what age, is worth the cost.

“Push them in as much as you can. Even if you don’t have the financial status. We’ve got great deals here at The Y. It’s lower for members and higher for non-members, but it’s still worth it. You can’t put a price on your children,” said Johnson.

Call the Frank P. Phillips Memorial YMCA Association at (662)328-7696 or see the official Columbus YMCA website for prices, age groups, and more information: columbus-ymca.com/swimming-lessons

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