In the summer of COVID-19, water safety is important with fewer pools with lifeguards, limited access to swimming lessons, more families spending time outside around the water and more pools coming into backyards.

Safety tips to practice in and around the water include below and on video: YMCA Swim Safety 2020

  • Never swim alone.
  • Constantly and actively watch children in an adult’s care.
  • Always keep young children or non-swimmers within arm’s reach of parent or guardian.
  • Remember inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Be wary of inflatables because a poke or blown valve can turn into a dangerous situation quickly for a child relying on it to float.
  • Don’t engage in breath holding activities.
  • Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water rather use a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety.
  • Enroll children and non-swimmers in water safety or swim lessons.
  • Be mindful of the hazards of backyard pools with standing water around because kids can fall down or can’t get out and infants or preschoolers can climb or crawl in. To be safe:
    • Install barriers around the pool like a fence
    • Know CPR
    • Guarantee that every child in the backyard pool who cannot swim wears a lifejackets
    • Provide constant supervision
    • Make sure there is a way to climb out of the pool if it’s too tall to step out of
  • Remember to keep a distance, and if a beach looks or feels too crowded, go find a different spot to hang out away from the crowd.

Keep kids safe when adults are also engaged in fun is incredibly important. A simple tip for parents near any kind of water this summer is to take the Abbey’s Hope Foundation Water Watchdog pledge. As a Water Watchdog, an adult agrees to:

  • Maintain constant visual contact with the children in the group.
  • Not drink alcohol, talk on the phone, socialize or read while watching children.
  • Keep a phone near the water for emergency purposes only.
  • Remain by the water until relieved by a new Water Watchdog.
  • Makes sure kids are respecting social distancing and giving space to other swimmers and beachgoers.

For outdoor water fun, we encourage you to check your local Ys for splash pads and other outdoor pool areas for you to enjoy this summer.

Summer Group Lessons registration will open in early July.