May is National Water Safety Month
By: Robert S Weinroth
May is National Water Safety Month. In Florida, where we have an abundance of water (the ocean, canals, lakes and pools – just to name a few) it is essential for every member of your family to become water competent.
This means being water smart, having swimming skills and knowing how to help others.
Children and adults should learn to swim so they can enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and then get out of the water safely.
According to the American Red Cross, layers of protection are essential to help prevent drowning. It is key to plan ahead for aquatic activities:
- provide close and constant attention to children under your supervision in or near water;
- ensure all pools and spas are fenced with adequate barriers and/or alarms;
- learn swimming and water survival skills;
- children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear life jackets (which does not eliminate the need for supervision); and
- swim with a buddy and, preferably, in a lifeguarded area.
- USEFUL LINKS
- You can find more water safety information, including how to respond to a water emergency, here.
- Check out our swim lessons information here.
- Have a home pool? Visit their pool safety information here.
- Consider enrolling in a class offered by the Red Cross or YMCA to raise your child’s awareness of safe behavior in, on or around the water!
- The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency weather alerts as well as locations of open Red Cross shelters. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Learn First Aid and CPR/AED skills so you can help save a life.
Ensuring Water Safety in Palm Beach County!
The YMCA of South Palm Beach County’s Water Safety & Drowning Prevention program encourages exploration of water-related activities so that our community can safely enjoy the water-rich environment in which we live. The program serves populations in the county that may not otherwise attend water safety courses or take a swimming lesson due to cultural or financial factors.
Safety Around the Water Week (5/20/19 – 5/24/19)
The YMCA’s Safety Around the Water Program consists of 5 half-hour swim lessons offered to qualified groups at no cost. Programming is offered year-round at our YMCAs or at pre-approved swimming sites throughout Palm Beach County. The program is evidence-based and developed on a foundation of “Safety First, Swim Second.” This program is geared for children 3-17 years. Due to the generosity of donors, this program is offered to the community at no cost. Non-Swimmers and first-time swim lesson participants are eligible for these lessons. Must be present at the facility to register.
Adaptive Needs Swim Program
The Y’s Adaptive Needs Swim Program consists of 8 half hour one to one ration swim lessons that are is individually tailored for the participant. Each participant in the program will participate in a simple intake process that will assist the Swim Instructors to develop an individualized lesson plan. This program is available to participants ages 2+ Do to generous support from grants and donations this program is offered to families at a greatly reduced cost.
WaterSmart Palm Beach County
As an effort to bring water safety and drowning prevention to the forefront of issues in Palm Beach County the countywide Drowning Prevention Task Force WaterSmart Palm Beach County was created to bring water safety minded individuals from all areas of the community together to solve issues around drowning prevention and provide access to safe and enjoyable water safety program to all. For more information on the Task Force please visit WaterSmartPBC. WaterSmart meets the fourth Thursday of every month (except November and December) at the Palm Beach County Children Services Council in Boynton Beach, FL.