Teaching your children water survival skills could save a life

May 13, 2013 3:23:20 PM PDT
Tragedies like the death of a child in a pool can be avoided. There are some life-saving water skills that even toddlers and babies can learn.

We watched as a toddler was dropped into the water fully dressed with shoes on in what is called a "float test." She then floated on her back to the side of the pool.

The test was a success, and this knowledge just might save her life.

These aren't swimming lessons; they're survival lessons. If there's no side to grab, the toddler is taught to float until help comes. And they're taught with songs to reduce their fear.

You see as many smiles as tears. Babies as young as four months old are taught how to flip over and float. Parents are in the water with the babies until they're two and a half years old when they go in just with the instructors. The toddlers learn to blow bubbles, turn over in the water and kick.

"It's very important for me that he's comfortable in the water," said Tanya Hernandez, mother of 16-month-old Viciente.

The Houston Swim Club has taught these life-saving techniques to babies and toddlers for decades. And for decades, they've received the thanks of grateful parents who say these simple skills saved their children's lives.

"Their child has taken lessons with us and been elsewhere and fallen in the pool, off the dock at the lake, and fallen in and turned over and gotten themselves to the side, which is what they learned here in our program," Houston Swim Club Director Stephanie Burns said.

"I truly believe if something was to happen and he was to fall in the pool, from what he's learned, he'd be able to struggle and get himself up," said Dottie Geiger, mother of two-year-old Andrew.

For more information on these life-saving water skills for toddlers at Houston Swim Club, visit houstonswimclub.com.

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