Water safety this summer: Free swim lessons, tips and beaches with lifeguards

Swimming lessons
Brothers Warsame, Yonis and Abdi Geele, left to right, listen to swim instructor Rachel Bushy describe their next drill July 2, 2013 at the Emma B. Howe YMCA in Coon Rapids.
Jennifer Simonson | MPR News 2013

This story comes to you through a partnership with https://sahanjournal.com/, a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to covering Minnesota's immigrants and communities of color.

Where to find free swim lessons in the Twin Cities this summer

  • Como Regional Park Pool, 1151 Wynne Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota: July 25 through Aug. 5 at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. Walk-ins accepted.

  • North Commons Waterpark: Register here.

  • YMCA of the North: Apply here for free or reduced fee swim lessons.

Free water safety events

  • Highland Park Aquatic Center, 1840 Edgcumbe Road, St. Paul, Minnesota: Wednesday, August 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Lake Phalen Beach, 1400 Phalen Drive, St. Paul, Minnesota: Thursday, August 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Como Regional Park Pool, 1151 Wynne Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota: Friday, August 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

$5 swim lessons

Where to find beaches in the Twin Cities that have lifeguards this summer (courtesy of Abbey’s Hope)

  • Arden Hills: Long Lake Public Beach, 3500 Lake Johanna Boulevard.

  • Eden Prairie: Riley Lake Park Beach, 9180 Riley Lake Road.

  • Maple Grove: Fish Lake Regional Park, 14900 Bass Lake Road.

  • Minneapolis: Bde Maka Ska Thomas Beach, 3700 Thomas Ave. S.

  • Minneapolis: Lake Harriet North Beach, 4740 Lake Harriet Parkway.

  • Minneapolis: Wirth Lake Beach, 3200 Glenwood Ave.

  • Plymouth: Parkers Lake Beach, 15205 County Road 6.

  • Roseville: Lake McCarrons County Park, 1795 North Rice St.

  • St. Paul: Phalen Regional Park Beach, 1400 Phalen Drive.

Water safety tips from the YMCA

  • Never swim alone.

  • A responsible adult should constantly and actively watch children.

  • Always keep young children or non-swimmers within arm’s reach of a parent or guardian.

  • Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

  • Don’t rely on inflatable toys or rafts for safety, because a poke or blown valve can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.

  • Don’t hold your breath  for fun or as a challenge.

  • Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in any water. Instead, use a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety.

  • Enroll children and non-swimmers in water safety or swim lessons.

  • Be mindful of backyard pools, because kids can fall in.

    • Install barriers like a fence around the pool.

    • Learn CPR.

    • Provide constant supervision.

    • Make sure there is a way to climb out of the pool if it’s too tall to step out of.

  • A simple tip for parents near any kind of water is to take the Water Watcher pledge. As a Water Watcher, an adult agrees to:

    • Maintain constant visual contact with the children in a group.

    • Not drink alcohol, talk on the phone, socialize, or read while watching children.

    • Keep a phone near the water for emergency purposes only.

    • Remain by the water until relieved by a new water watcher.

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