cymca swim lessonsShrewsbury, NJ – As the Jersey Shore community welcomes the unofficial start to summer over the Memorial Day weekend, The Community YMCA encourages parents and guardians to take an active role in their children’s water safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of 14.

Following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:


  • Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
  • Never leave children unattended and stay vigilant when around any body of water.
  • Designate a "Water Watcher" to supervise children around water. This person should not read, use a cellphone or be otherwise distracted.
  • Inexperienced and non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.
  • Children and adults should not engage in breath-holding activities.
  • When swimming, stay away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapment.

The nation’s leader in swim instruction, the Y teaches more than a million children across the country invaluable water safety and swimming skills every year. Locally, The Community YMCA helps youth and adults in Monmouth County experience the joy and benefits of swimming so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water, said President and CEO Rhonda Anderson.

As part of its commitment to water safety, The Community YMCA invites local residents to participate in  Learn to Swim Week, Tuesday, June 23 – Saturday, June 27. Offered to first-time participants who have little or no swimming ability, the program includes five lessons for a nominal fee for kids and adults. Participants do not need to be Y members, but must register in advance for the community outreach program at the Family Health & Wellness Center, located at 166 Maple Avenue in Red Bank.

Rebecca Rivera, Aquatics Director at the Y’s Red Bank facility said, the Learn to Swim Week program  introduces beginners to the aquatic environment, teaches basic learn-to-swim skills and increases water safety awareness for families. “Our goal is to make everyone feel safe and comfortable in and around the water,” Rivera said.

Additionally, The Community YMCA offers a variety of aquatics programs throughout the year, including swim lessons for children as young as six months, family swim time and competitive swimming at two locations – the Family Health & Wellness Center in Red Bank and the Lass Aquatics Center at Camp Zehnder in Wall.

Families interested in learning more about Learn to Swim Week and how to enroll their children in Y swimming and water safety classes should visit.