Teaching your child to float could save their life

Children as young as 6 months can be taught self-rescue skills

Exposing your child to the water at a very early age could be life saving, when taught the right skills. Learn more about survival swimming and lessons near you.
Exposing your child to the water at a very early age could be life saving, when taught the right skills. Learn more about survival swimming and lessons near you.

SAN ANTONIO – In just moments, a fun trip to the water this summer could turn deadly for a child. According to the CDC, drowning is a leading cause of death for children in the United States.

To help protect children, parents are choosing to enroll their little ones in survival swimming lessons with companies like Infant Aquatics.

Infant Aquatics offers one-on-one lessons for children ages 6 months to 6 years old. Certified survival swim instructors Regina Rodríguez and Jennifer Conn are two of three offering courses in the San Antonio area for Infant Aquatics.

“We teach them how to control their breathing so, they can hold their breath (underwater),” Rodríguez said. “Once they come out, they can breathe.”

The self-rescue swim lessons may be shocking for some parents as the child may cry. According to Rodríguez, the tears are due to separation anxiety.

“If a child is crying, (that means) a child is floating,” Rodríguez said. “They’re going to be fine.”

Parent Amber Floryen admits the first few lessons were tough.

“In the beginning, it was kind of nerve wracking because it is sad to see your kids cry. But it is definitely because (of) separation anxiety,” Floryen said.

Her daughter Harper is currently enrolled in the second level courses that teach children the swim-float-swim method.

KSAT12's Alicia Barrera joins GMSA@9 to discuss where parents can find water safety classes for infants.
KSAT12's Alicia Barrera joins GMSA@9 to discuss where parents can find water safety classes for infants.

“Once they start going underwater, they start floating,” Rodríguez said. “They keep swimming to (get to) the edge (of the pool) and eventually get out in case they are in an accident.”

The instructors remain at arms-reach with their attention focused on the child, ready to help. For Floryen, the lessons are an added layer protection as she has a pool in her backyard and spends a lot of time on the boat with her family.

“We do have a safety fence around (our pool), but anything can happen. So, it was just really important for us that our children know what to do,” Floryen said.

The courses are 6-weeks long and are offered during the summer, equaling a total of 24, 10-minute lessons.

To find the nearest Infant Aquatics instructor, click here.

Dr. Megan O'Brien with the Children's Hospital of San Antonio joins GMSA@9 to talk about children and pool safety.
Dr. Megan O'Brien with the Children's Hospital of San Antonio joins GMSA@9 to talk about children and pool safety.

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About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.