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Teaching little ones how to swim is half of the equation to keeping children safe around water. The following are tips recommended by the aquatics directors at the YMCA and Greenville Rec Westside Aquatic Complex:

  • Make sure there is an adult supervising your child at all times. Will McCormick of the YMCA recommends four or fewer children per one adult.
  • Teach children to ask permission before getting into any water. Even the bathtub at home has inherent risks, but teaching your child/toddler/preschooler to ask before getting into the kiddie pool or the waves at the beach keep them safe.
  • Take breaks from the water every hour. Those fifteen to twenty minutes out of the water helps your child bring their body temperature back to normal and they can have a snack to give them those calories they burn while playing.
  • Learn how to properly fit a flotation device. Even children that know how to swim can get into trouble. Select a Coast Guard approved device for the activity the child is participating.
  • Get CPR certified. Infant/Child classes are available through the American Red Cross as are kits from the American Heart Association.
  • Find a swim class and register your child. Classes through the YMCA and Greenville County are available all year round including ones for adults.
  • All of the Upstate experts agreed that for water safety the one thing you should always remember is reach or throw — don’t go!
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