We see kids of every age, size, color, and experience level run into the Y every day so elated to get in the pool. And honestly, it makes our hearts happy. Empowering kids through swimming lessons is one of our core services and community responsibilities at the Y. We do live in the land of 10,000 lakes.
The YMCA passionately believes that every person should learn to swim. Every single person. Not only is it a good skill to have, but it can be life-saving.
After a 9-month winter, 42 snowstorms, and just as many snow days (OK, we exaggerated), Minnesotans are ready to head to the lake, play in the pool and visit our community’s public splash pads.
At the Y, we want to help our community to be safe in the water. We know the statistics. The one that always sticks out to our team is drowning is the No. 1 leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For every child that drowns, 5 more are treated in the emergency department for submission-related injuries, the CDC reports.
About 750 children drown each year nationwide, 375 of whom do so within 25 yards of a parent or adult. Many parents do not even realize its happening.
How to keep kids safe in the water
Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe in the water.
- Constant supervision.
Never leave your child unattended by the water, even just for a few moments. Drowning takes only moments, and contrary to popular belief, it often doesn’t include loud yells, splashing or struggles. It can be quick and silent, so always be watching and supervising.
- Create physical barriers to water.
Build fences, lock doors, and create barriers that prevent your kids from accessing your pool, the lake, and even the kiddie pool filled with a few inches of water.
- Put the phone down.
Be an engaged supervisor. Looking down at your phone or tablet is just as dangerous as walking away for a few minutes.
- Teach swimming skills.
Empower your kids to learn the life-giving skill of swimming at a young age. They’ll be safer in the water and will learn other valuable water safety skills.
- Always wear life jackets.
Even if your kids complain that they’re bulky and uncomfortable, always ensure your kids (and you) are wearing lifejackets any time they’re in or around water.
- Wear bright clothing.
When shopping for your kids’ swim gear, pick bright colors or patterns that will help them stand out. You’ll have an easier time picking them out from a crowd.
The Y’s why
At the Y, we believe that every single person should have the opportunity to learn the life-saving skill of swimming, no matter their age, race, or income level. No one in the St. Cloud area will be turned away from swimming lessons for an inability to pay.
We have heated, indoor swimming pools where we can offer swimming lessons year-round. Lessons are offered throughout the week to accommodate nearly every schedule; and our class sizes are small to ensure your kiddo is getting the attention and instruction they need to succeed.
The Y knows each child is different and will advance at his or her own pace. Learning to swim takes time and patience. Y swim instructors will let parents know how each child progressed at the end of the session.
We recently changed our swim class names. Visit our Swimming Lessons page to find the right class for your swimmer.
We also offer private adult lessons for those who may not have learned to swim at a young age. It’s never too late to invest in yourself and your safety.
YMCA Aquatic Resources::
Invest in the Safety of Your Kids
Find age and skill appropriate lessons from with small class sizes, flexible schedules, and trained instructors.