YMCA of Greater Erie

As the season turns from spring to summer, the YMCA of Greater Erie encourages children and parents in Erie to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind. In Y swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.

It’s never too early to get children involved in swimming—it’s an important for safety reasons, but also a great way to keep active and healthy. There are so many options for parents, but the best place to start is by learning basic water safety skills that helps get kids familiar with the water that often continues with swim lessons and competitive swim programs and can even lead to a career.

The YMCA of Greater Erie encourages parents to take an active role in fostering a relationship between their children and swimming—beginning with water safety. 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.
  • Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.
  • Inexperienced or 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.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, swimming is a great way to increase physical activity. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.

As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 155 years. The YMCA of Greater Erie continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water.

There are a variety of programs to choose, including those at the Y or local township recreation programs.

In addition, through the City of Erie’s Brian Lee Crosby Memorial Learn to Swim program, City of Erie youth can take free YMCA swimming lessons at Strong Vincent and East Middle Schools and Erie High School.