CHARLOTTE, N.C. — May is Water Safety Awareness Month, and with the temperatures heating up, kids are hitting the pool.
Most of us love a cool dip in the pool in the hot summer heat, but if you don’t know how to swim, the pool can be very dangerous. Drowning continues to be the leading cause of unintentional death in kids ages 1-5.
The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is working to prevent those water accidents from happening.
“Once you can walk, the water’s a dangerous place, if you’re not prepared,” said YMCA of Greater Charlotte Association Aquatics Director, Ame Guy.
That’s why the Y takes swim lessons seriously. They teach even infants to be comfortable in the water.
“We have our parent-child classes that begin at six months old, as long as you have head control, you can join that class,” Guy says. “We encourage that, it teaches parents also water acclimation, so we’re teaching parents how to hold the child appropriately, what’s the best floatation device to wear, how to get in the pool, how to get out of the pool.”
The Y also teaches open water safety on Lake Norman. The number one tip, wear your floatation device, even before you get on a boat or near the water.
“A lot of times parents will walk out on a pool deck or down by the waterfront. They’ll put down their bags, get on their sunscreen. No one’s watching the kids and they’re walking towards the water,” Guy says.
And the lessons don’t stop at the YMCA door. They also reach out to low income apartment complexes to teach a crash course on water safety, showing how to swim and how to get back above the water if they fall in.