Nick McWilliams reporting – Water safety classes were the subject of the aquatics department of the YMCA, providing safety tips for children and parents.

Warm weather brings out the swimming bug in everyone, with children flocking to area pools.

But children should be aware of certain dangers, according to Aquatics Director Stacy Harlan, and how to address them.

“We do a program with them that’s called, ‘Reach and Throw, Don’t Go.’ And that is just basically teaching them that if they have a friend, or a sibling or even an adult that’s in trouble, they don’t have to get in the water to help them. They can simply throw something that floats, or reach something out to them that the swimmer in distress can reach.”

Students learned about other tips such as boating safety, picking a proper life jacket and the importance of CPR.

Other lessons important to inexperienced swimmers involve not panicking in any situation, along with knowing how to react.

“[We’re] teaching them some basic water safety skills. Learning how to tread water and how to float. And how when they get in trouble, they can roll over on their back and float, until help can get to them. Simply things like that that even the beginner swimmer can learn.”

The June 10th through 14th class wraps up today, but residents are urged to contact Harlan for the availability of the next program.

The YMCA also offers swim classes. More information is available at

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