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Know Before You Jump In!

Know Before You Jump In!

May 21, 2024

(West Chester, PA) – Memorial Day weekend is approaching quickly, which means swim season is about to kick off. Before you jump into summer fun, make sure your family members are aware that swimming comes with a risk.

According to data from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) is committed to changing this fact and is offering tips to keep children safe in and around water.

1. Ask First
Unlike the way it is portrayed in the media, drowning is silent and quick – without time to ask for help. This is why it is important that children understand to ask permission before going in or near the water. Be sure your children understand the importance of asking first.

2. Bring a Buddy
When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times. Teach your children to 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.

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

4. Don't Hold your Breath
Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Both adults and children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can be dangerous.

5. Life Vest is Best
Wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while in or around the water.

6. Reach, Throw, Don't Go!
If a loved one is struggling in deep water unexpectedly, your natural reaction may be to jump in the water to try and save them. But, even the best swimmers can be overpowered by a panicked person, pulling the rescuer under water. Instead, use the “reach, throw, don’t go” concept. Use a long object to reach for your loved one and pull them to safety. By using this technique, an adult or child can help a loved one without compromising their own safety.

Water Safety at the Y:



About the YMCA of Greater Brandywine 

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), an association of nine YMCAs and Program Centers serving Chester County, is a leading non-profit organization committed to building community. We strive to nurture the potential of every child, promote healthy living and foster social responsibility through life-changing programs for all. YGBW raises funds to provide financial assistance to those unable to pay the standard rates. In 2023, $2.2 million was provided to more than 11,000 individuals to ensure they had access to childcare, summer camp, programs and memberships at YGBW. More than 60,000 people are members of YGBW. To learn more, visit  


Photo Caption 1: Swimmers enjoy the outdoor pool at the YMCA.

Additional Info

Media Contact : Katie Begandy,

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