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Safety Around Water

Water Safety Is Everyone's Responsibility. 

It takes all of us. For a Safer Us. 

As one of the largest community-based organizations in the country, the YMCA owns or manages over 2,000 pools, which has allowed us to teach more than a million children invaluable water safety and swimming skills each year. 


Water Safety Tips & Resources

Active, responsible adult supervision is a key drowning prevention strategy in and around water.


  • Learn basic swimming and water safety skills. Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning.
  • Build fences that fully enclose pools. Use self-closing and self-latching gates and remove toys that might attract children to the pool when the pool is not in use. 
  • Designate a responsible adult. Supervise closely and constantly when children are in or near water (including bathtubs). Adults should supervise children even when lifeguards are present.
  • Be proactive. Learn about any risks when visiting another home or unfamiliar location.
  • Wear a life jacket. Life jackets reduce the risk of drowning while boating for people of all ages and swimming abilities. 
  • Learn CPR. Your CPR skills could save someone’s life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.
  • Know the risks of natural waters. Lakes, rivers and oceans have hidden hazards such as dangerous currents or waves, rocks or vegetation and limited visibility.
  • Check the forecast. Local weather conditions can change quickly and cause dangerous flash floods, strong winds, and thunderstorms with lightning strikes.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination.
  • Use the buddy system. Always swim with a buddy. Choose swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
  • Consider the effects of medications. Avoid swimming if you take medications that impair your balance, coordination, or judgement. 
  • Don’t hyperventilate or hold your breath for a long time. Do not hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold your breath underwater for long periods of time

Register for Swim Lessons


CDC: Drowning Prevention

National Drowning Prevention Alliance

Pool Safely.Gov

YMCA Parents Relationship With Water


Swim Tests

Swim tests assist our lifeguards in more quickly identifying the swimmers who can be in different areas of the pool. Our swim test consists of jumping in the water, treading water for 15 seconds and swimming 25 yards.


Swim Test Procedure - Spanish and English

Swim Test Procedure - Arabic and English