Make a Splash this Summer with Water Safety Tips and Events from the Y

Last updated: April 30, 2024, at 8:47 p.m. PT

Originally published: April 22, 2024, at 10:44 a.m. PT

water safety month

May is National Water Safety Month. When the weather starts to heat up, the pools, lakes, oceans, rivers and other bodies of water start calling! While swimming can be a very enjoyable activity this summer, it is important to remind all parents and caregivers of the importance of water safety. Join the YMCA of Greater Seattle as we prepare for swimming season by keeping everyone safe around water. 

Check out the Y's Safety Around Water Initiative and Resources >


Water Safety Month Activities with the YMCA of Greater Seattle 

Water Safety Skill Builder at the Y 

Visit any YMCA of Greater Seattle location in May and pick up a Water Safety Skill Builder at the Welcome Center. Complete each of the five crucial water safety response activities and receive Y stickers and swag!  

Water Safety at Seattle Children’s Autism Center 

May 4, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, Seattle Children’s Autism Center, 6901 Sand Point Way NE 

Join the YMCA of Greater Seattle at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center for a water safety event designed for families and children with autism and other developmental disabilities for all ages. Enjoy lifejacket fittings, free life jackets on a first come, first serve basis, community swim lesson information, a fire truck, and more.  

Water Safety at Rainier Beach 

May 18, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 

The Y, Washington Water Safety, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and No More Under are coming together to raise awareness about water safety. 

Fund Youth Swim Lessons  

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, local foundations, and local partners, we provide ongoing complimentary swim lessons to under-served youth throughout the year. We rely on community funding to continue to provide these much-needed lessons. If you are interested in supporting swim lessons for under-served youth, contact us at

Take Group and Private Swim Lessons

With an emphasis on water safety and skill development in a safe environment, we offer group and private swim lessons with eight stages of development so you can find a class that's just right for you. Swim lessons are available for ages six months to adult. Find swim lessons near you today.


Six Tips to Keep in Mind for National Water Safety Month 

Tip # 1: Make sure children know to always ask permission before going in or near the water. 

Teaching your children to be water smart is the first step in water safety – be sure they understand the importance of asking permission before going in or near the water.  

Tip # 2: Never swim alone 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. 

Tip # 3: Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. 

Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or waterfront, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times. 

Tip # 4: 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. 

Tip # 5: Wear a life jacket. 

Inexperienced or non-swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while in or around the water. 

Tip # 6: Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. 

If an adult or child finds their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in the water to try and save them. Even if they are a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower them, pulling the rescuer under water. 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, an adult or child can help their friend without compromising their own safety.