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National Water Safety Month

The Dubuque Community Y is offering tips for parents to keep kids safe in and around water this summer.

The Dubuque Community Y wants to ensure that water safety doesn’t get lost in Dubuque’s eagerness to return to a “normal” summer. As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that is in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. All of that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever. For National Water Safety Month this May, the Dubuque Y is encouraging parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety skills with the whole family.

As part of National Water Safety Month, the Dubuque Y is encouraging parents to play an active role in promoting water safety and providing five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all.

  1. Never swim alone or without a water watcher. When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times.  Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty, or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.
  2. Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times.
  3. Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side-effects.
  1. Wear a life jacket: Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  1. Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in the water to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower them, pulling the rescuer underwater. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety. By using this technique children can help their friend without compromising their own safety.

To learn more about the Dubuque Y’s swim programs, please contact Ben Loeffelholz at bloeffelholz@dubuquey.org

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