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.
“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.