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YMCA of the Fox Cities emphasizes swimming safety in the summer months

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Posted at 9:23 AM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-15 18:18:38-04

APPLETON, Wis. — It's time to freshen up on swimming safety tips when the weather turns hot.

Maggie Haddock has been bringing her 6-year-old son Charlie to swim lessons at the YMCA since he was 6-months-old.

"We call him a little fish," said Haddock.

It's one of the many options offered to families.

The classes teach children water and personal safety skills.

They also educate parents about dangers around water and how to be vigilant.

"It really helps ease my concerns knowing that if something were to happen he would have those skill-sets to get safely out of the water," said Haddock.

On average 70 people each year in Wisconsin die as result of drowning.

Each day two children die from drowning in the United States.

"88% of drownings happen under some form of supervision," said Danielle Englebert, the COO of the YMCA of the Fox Cities. "That's scary because that's one of the layers of protection."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated their guidelines for children to start swim lessons at the age of 1 instead of 4.

Swim lesson programs at the Y teach skills that can save a child's life.

"Now he's able to tread water, float on his back, do some basic strokes, those basic water safety skills he has learned," said Haddock.

Leaders at the YMCA also suggest avoiding inflatables because kids can go out deeper than their skill level of swimming can protect.

"They do create dangers if they are not used well," said Englebert.

They do recommend puddle jumpers for little kids and life jackets for older kids and adults.

Those are personal flotation devices and you should look for the Coast Guard approval stamp.

"You know they are made out of material that can withstand usage and they'll keep your kids safe," said Englebert.

Other safety tips to remember:

  • Never swim alone and supervise your child when they are in the water
  • No breath-holding contest which could turn deadly
  • Know your surroundings
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency

Of course swim lessons can give peace of mind to parents.

"We are very active in the water so it is very crucial that our kids understand water safety tips and have the confidence and knowledge when they are around water," said Haddock.

"It makes me feel safe," said Charlie Haddock.

It's a skill that will last a lifetime.

There are several types of swim classes offered by the YMCA of the Fox Cities.

They start with babies and go all the way up to adult classes.

Cost is $30 for members and $63 for the general public for a 7-week session.

For more info, click here.