Water Safety

Do you know your child's true ability in the water?

Water Safety

As a leader in drowning prevention, the YMCAs of Tampa Bay are teaming up with the Tampa Bay Rays to remind you to be water smart from the start. The Y offers a variety of swim safety programs for both children and adults. It's never too late to save a life. Make the YMCA your home base for swim safety. Find a Be Water Smart class.

Annually, more than 3,500 children are treated in emergency rooms due to a drowning-related incident. Approximately 75% of child drownings occur because of a lapse in adult supervision of less than five minutes.

It takes less than one minute - answering a cell phone call, reading a page or two, chatting with a friend - for a child to silently slip below the water's surface. Most drownings occur within 10-30 feet of safety.

You are your child's best lifeguard. However, without proper training or strong swimming ability, you could put yourself in danger. If possible, only swim in areas where a lifeguard is present. Use barriers around the pool and assign an adult to supervise pool activities even when a lifeguard is on duty. Never jump in to save someone. Throw out a flotation device or use a pole to reach a drowning child or adult.

We believe the ability to swim is a critical life skill for every child, teen and adult. In swim lessons, we use a variety of methods to help overcome fears, build confidence in the water and develop skills that last a lifetime. Qualified instructors meet kids and adults at their own level, help families set achievable goals and celebrate all successes.

We offer free swim testing to Y members under the age of 13 that include:

  • Treading water for one minute
  • Swimming the length of the pool
  • Floating on front and back
  • Jumping into water over their head

If your child is unable to complete this test, they should remain in the shallow end of the pool and within arm's length of an adult at all times.