Another school year will soon be coming to an end. Memorial Day is right around the corner. Two ominous signs that it’s almost time to pull out last year’s bathing suits or that it’s time to buy new ones for yourself and your family. With thoughts of summer camp, vacation and swimming in pools, lakes or the ocean in our midst, it’s also time to think about swimming lessons and water safety.
Every summer we hear stories about adults and children who lost their lives in the water. It’s an unfortunate part of the summer that we’d prefer not to have to deal with, yet many who are not comfortable in the water or have not had swimming lessons venture out with friends and family to enjoy the waves but never make it back to shore or out of the pool. Accidents happen, but they are often preventable.
The YMCA of Montclair urges everyone to learn how to swim. For children, learning to swim builds character and instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in their psyche, while teaching them survival skills that are critical to their ability to have a safe summer. For adults, swimming lessons afford you the same character building traits but also allow you to accompany your children in the water with a greater sense of responsibility knowing you are better suited to assist them if necessary. Don’t take swimming lessons for granted. Please.
We all know that summertime means time in the water for many kids and adults, as they venture to their favorite spots to swim, play and create lasting memories. Whether it’s the pool, beach, water park or lakefront, the YMCA of Montclair reminds our entire community to keep safety first when in or around the water. With this in mind, the Y offers swim programs that teach water safety skills and give kids and adults the chance to explore the many health benefits of swimming.
Whether your one year old is learning with our incredible aquatics team at the Geyer Family Center or you want lessons for your 78-year-old mother, it is never too early or too late to learn how to swim and be safe in often unpredictable water.
“It’s important to make sure children and adults are confident in the water to ensure they have a fun and safe experience,” said Sam Hassan, Aquatics Director at the YMCA of Montclair. “Basic swimming skills and water safety practices save lives every day.” Lauren Sharkey, Aquatics Director at the Geyer Family YMCA agrees and also offered these safety precautions for children and adults:
- Only swim when and where there is lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
- Adults should constantly watch children in and near the water. If multiple adults are in the vicinity, designate a “water watcher” so everyone knows who is “on duty.”
- Inexperienced swimmers should take precaution and wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) when in, on or around the water.
- Children who are beginners should stay within arm's reach of an adult in the water.
As a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y works to ensure everyone has an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. This philosophy drives the YMCA of Montclair’s commitment to help children and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, which is one of the best ways to stay physically active and improve strength, flexibility and stamina.
For more information about swimming lessons and other aquatics programs, please call the Y at 973 744-3400 or visit their Park Street facility at 25 Park Street or the Geyer Family Center at 159 Glenridge Avenue.