South Florida is famously known for aquatics, blue skies, and endless days by the water. If you’re a Floridian, you know this includes splashing in the water on a hot day, jumping contests, diving deep to find hidden objects, games of Marco Polo, or simply lounging and relaxing – pretty much your average Sunday.
However, participating in such activities requires a large measure of responsibility when it comes to water safety. Drowning is a real, present danger, which makes swimming a necessary skill to learn when living near the water and can be life-saving for adults and children both.
Aquatics and Water Safety
Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. As such, learning how to swim and being aware of key factors for drowning prevention can greatly reduce your risks of being involved in, or a having a loved-one involved in, an aquatics-related incident. Accidental death can be preventable by having adult supervision, barriers and alarms, and appropriate swim instruction. There’s no need to be a professional swimmer, however, it is vital to be comfortable with one’s skills in the water.
Learning how to swim is the first step to a fun-filled day in the water, and there is no better time to learn aquatic safety than the present. Skills learned to be comfortable in all bodies of water are worth the effort. Swimming in open water is exciting when proper precautions are taken, and these precautions may be different than those of swimming in a pool at home. For example, in a lake or ocean, it is important to be cognizant of the conditions below the surface of the water and watch out for any sudden drop-offs. In a pool at home, it may be wise to install a fence surrounding the pool if a family has small children. These tips are just a couple among so many that can save a life in South Florida.
For years, the YMCA has been a leading organization in drowning prevention education. YMCA swimming offers several aquatics programs for all ages and abilities including: swim lessons in a group, semi-private, or private setting available for children 6 months to adult; recreational swimming which provides an entry-level and flexible swim team experience without a focus of competition or time commitment, as well as competitive swimming, water exercise, and adaptive swim for children with special needs.
The YMCA strives to bridge the gap between delivering swim lessons and promoting and educating water safety in South Florida. To learn more about YMCA swimming and classes we offer, click here.