Summer Safety and Fun at The Y!

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With summer around the corner, water safety should be top of mind. The Farmington Valley YMCA is offering tips for parents to keep kids safe in and around water this summer. The Y wants to ensure that water safety doesn’t get lost in our collective ongoing eagerness to return to a “normal” summer. As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that’s in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. And that means the risk of drowning is ever present. The Farmington Valley YMCA encourages all parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety and to equip their kids with the essential skills to keep them safe in and around water.

“As ‘America’s Swim Instructor,’ The Y understands the importance of keeping children safe. The Farmington Valley YMCA teaches more than 500 children valuable water safety and swimming skills annually,” said Kathryn Hanson, Y Aquatics Director. “Now more than ever, it’s important to remind parents and caregivers that water safety needs to be top-of-mind as families return to their favorite summertime activities.”

The Y is encouraging parents to play an active role in promoting water safety and is providing five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all.

Never let your children swim alone or without a water watcher. When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty, or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.

Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or lake, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times.

Don’t let your children engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe physical side-effects.

Have your child wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

Tell your child not to jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural instinct may be to jump in the water to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower them, pulling the rescuer underwater. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety. By using this technique children can help their friend without compromising their own safety.

To learn more about the FVY’s Safety Around Water program and Swim Lessons, please contact Kathryn Hanson at

Y Day Camp is the original social network. Camp Farmington Valley still has spots available starting the week of June 12. Camp Farmington Valley is a state licensed day camp for children entering kindergarten to 8th grade. Camp includes field trips, gaga, arts and crafts, free swim, swim instruction, archery, rock wall, nature adventures, camp songs, and other camp activities. The Y character values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are integrated into every activity. Nurturing, experienced and professional counselors promote an atmosphere of fun and friendship while they help children explore the world around them. Register today: For more information about camp, email

This summer, The Y is offering student memberships for $120 from May 1–Aug. 31 for students ages 18-24 with an eligible student ID. 

Finally, if you are starting to think about fall, after-school child care is important for families to think about. For academic support, character development activities, art, music and service learning projects, enroll in the Y’s after school program for kids grades K-5 which offers free bussing from Kelly Lane and Wells Road schools. Our state -licensed program is currently open for registration. Participants are led by our trained and caring staff, and have access to state of our art climbing wall, multipurpose pool, gaga pit, gymnasium and so much more! Grades K-5, Monday-Friday until 6 p.m. Financial Assistance is available and Care4Kids is accepted. For more information please contact Amanda Fox

Have a happy and safe summer!