Swim safety; classes start for kids as young as four months old


SPRINGBORO, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) -- Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in kids ages one to four, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

As the weather gets warmer, more backyard pools are opening. But it's important for not only kids to be prepared, but also parents.

"The younger you start absolutely the better it is," said Brittany Haley, General Manager of Aqua Tots in Springboro, "Swimming is actually a life-saving skill."

Classes for kids, start as young as four months old.

"We actually take them under water the first day and every day after that," said Haley.

"The earlier we start it the more natural it becomes," said Haley.

"All it takes is one second for you to look away and things happen," said Maria Astudillo.

Astudillo knows that feeling all too well as she watches her 8-year-old son, conquer his fear.

"He got a little bit afraid after an incident on a water slide," said Astudillo.

After that, Astudillo made sure all three of her kids feel confident in the water.

"You never know when you're going to actually be in a situation where you need to learn how to stay afloat. And if they don't get the tools, things cannot go very well," said Astudillo.

One of the biggest things the classes teach, is how to breath while floating on their backs, or sides.

"If they have multiple options they have a better chance of even if they get tired, they can do something with their body to get them to the side or to help," said Haley.

For toddlers, the key to safety is boundaries.

"Just knowing when and how they're able to get into the water. Knowing that they're never able to get in without a parent in the water," said Haley.

And for parents feeling hesitant about swim lessons...

"You have to think about the safety of your kids," said Astudillo, "At least it gives you some security that they should be able or they could be able to defend themselves in the water if they need to."

Brittany also says you want your kids to be hesitant of the water not fear it.

That way if they get into trouble, they'll have the confidence to get themselves out of it.

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