YMCA stresses importance of child swim lessons during summer

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 6:02 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - As warmer weather brings young children closer to the water, parents become concerned for their children’s safety.

YMCA Southeast Mississippi CEO Matt Rumph says getting your child involved in swim lessons can be crucial during these summer months.

“The biggest skill you can teach a child is how to swim, so if they are ever put in a situation where they have to swim or tread water just to maintain themselves, that’s the most important thing,” said Rumph. “So, I do say, parents, the first thing is to get them comfortable in the water, and now that they are comfortable in the water, we also have to teach them how to survive in the water, and that’s where swim lessons are a key.”

Rumph says the YMCA facility has about 20 swim instructors and will soon start lessons for moms and babies.

“Each program is different, there is group lessons, there’s a personal lesson, just depends on the comfort of the child,” said Rumph. “Group lessons, they actually take them one by one. The kids come and swim to them, they work on strokes and work on how to get comfortable in the water first and then we try to get them to be strong and confident swimmers.”

According to Rumph, the Petal and Hattiesburg locations provide swim lessons for both adults and children, to ensure everyone knows how to practice water safety.

“A confident swimmer is a safe swimmer, so that’s a big thing right now,” said Rumph. “You give kids that confidence to feel comfortable in the water. They don’t have panic attacks when they get into the water, and when they are not afraid of the water, their mind opens up to learn how to swim properly.”

For anyone who is interested in taking swim lessons, you can visit or you can call 601-583-4000 for the Hattiesburg location and 601-583-9399 for the Petal YMCA.

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