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Water Safety Tips


Have a water guardian

An adult should always be watching children in and around water. Babies, toddlers, and weak swimmers need an adult within arm’s reach. Older children and even strong swimmers need an adult who is free from distraction to monitor. Assign an adult water guardian when there is more than one adult present and rotate responsibility often.


Keep little ones away from water

Barriers are crucial to preventing unauthorized, unsupervised access to water. Pools need 4-sided fencing at least 4 ft high and gates should be self-closing and self-latching. Lakefront homes or homes with other types of open water should consider fencing and dock gates to prevent access by young children. Alarms on doors, windows, and gates are also recommended for any home with a pool or open water.


For kids and adults

All children and adults should learn to swim and be water competent as this greatly reduces the risk of drowning. The AAP recommends children begin swim lessons as young as 1 year old.

Adults and teens should know how to perform CPR and use an AED in case of an emergency. Classes are available through American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and local fire departments.


Learn the dangers

Faulty pool and spa drains pose a suction entrapment and drowning hazard. Look for broken or missing drain covers before entering the water; notify owner/operator of any. Teach kids not to touch or play near drains. Tie up loose bathing suit straps and long hair.


Wear when appropriate

Life Vests are an important tool for protecting lives on the water. Life jackets should be worn while boating by everyone on board, regardless of age. Life vests are also recommended for swimmers in open water. Use only USCG approved life vests appropriate for the activity and check for proper fit.


Know before you go

Before going to the beach, check the rip current forecast. When possible, always swim at a lifeguarded beach and heed all warning flags. Review what to do if caught in a rip current-FLIP, FLOAT, & FOLLOW. It is not recommended for bystanders to attempt a rescue on their own; if unavoidable- always, always take a flotation device.

Saving lives through story time

Water Safety in Schools

Our Water Safety in Schools program recognizes that it is not always possible to get a classroom of children to the pool to learn swim skills. However, there are many water safety rules we can teach in the classroom. Our foundation will visit classes and small groups for a water safety story time. We use songs and books with fun characters to engage kids and empower them to make safer choices around water. We strive to be able to donate a drowning prevention story book to each child that we read. When a child takes home a book and shares its water safety message with her parents and siblings, we have exponentially increased our reach. We strive to donate a drowning prevention story book to each child at every presentation. If you would like us to visit your class or would like help implementing a Water Safety Story Time, please contact us.

Swim for life

Many people within our community often do not learn the critical water safety and swimming skills to keep them safe. The Y is working to address this important issue by offering Swim for Life, a free water safety and swimming program. With so many bodies of water throughout the Wilmington area, it is critical that we provide individuals with the basic knowledge of water safety to reduce the risk of drowning or injury.  

Learn more, see current classes and register today at the YMCA OF SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA

Brunswick School of FISH

Brunswick School of FISH is a partnership between BCC Fitness & Aquatics Center and the Jack Helbig Memorial Foundation.

Swim Scholarships will be provided for local children to take swimming lessons FREE of charge that have not been able to attend due to cost. After being chosen through an application process, they will then begin their eight week session of learning basic swimming and water safety skills that will help them be safer in and around the water.

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Phone: 910-477-0837

3181 George II Highway, Suite E
Southport, NC 28461