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How Aqua-Tots Swim Lessons Saved One Toddler’s Life

When families ask us about the best time to start swim lessons, our answer is always the same: four months old. From water adjustment and bonding to the beginning stages of submersion and breath control, baby swim lessons get your child’s swim journey off to a good start! And while our genuine desire is that your child never needs their skills because of an unsettling experience, we know that children can get themselves into unforeseen situations.

Hear from one Aqua-Tots mom who says, “People called me crazy for putting my son in swim lessons at four months old, but it paid off. Without swim lessons, yesterday would have been the worst day of my life.” Learn how this mama is now sounding the alarm on why swim lessons saved her son’s life.

An Aqua-Tots Family’s Story of Survival

Alexis Jackson, mom to 18-month-old James, was enjoying a leisurely day at home with her mom, sister, son and nephew when all of her son’s swim lessons paid off. With a gated pond behind their house, Alexis’s curious toddler and two-year-old nephew managed to get past the normally locked gate.

She recalls, “My nephew and my son were playing in the living room. They play quietly together all the time, and at some point, the two of them decided to sneak past us through the laundry room and go out into the backyard. The gate that locks the pond is usually locked, but on this day, it was unlocked. And my son fell in.”

With eyes wide, a look of panic on his face, Alexis’s nephew came running back into the house to alert the adults of the dangerous situation outside. She says, “My mom saw my nephew running back and so we ran outside; I could hear James yelling for me. He sounded really calm, so I began looking in all the places he could potentially be stuck. Finally, I made my way into the pond, and I saw him floating under the bridge. He looked at me and was totally calm. He hadn’t even swallowed any water; he was just cold. I was sobbing and freaking out, but he was fine.”

Today, Alexis is urging other parents to put their babies in swim lessons. “To other parents who are considering swim for their babies or toddlers, put your babies in swim lessons. You won’t regret it. If we had not gone to swim lessons when my son was four months old, this would be a completely different story.”

How Water Safety Skills Can Prevent Accidents

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 73% of pool- or spa-related fatal child drownings involved children younger than five, and two-thirds of those occurred in residential settings such as the victim’s home, the house of a family member or friend, or a neighbor’s residence.

Quality learn-to-swim classes are a proactive step to take along with several other precautions to keep children safer around the water. Some of these key factors include:

  • Adult Supervision—This is the first line of defense to keep children safe. Caregivers should be within arm’s reach of young swimmers, undistracted, and engaged.
  • Barriers—Backyard pools should have an enclosed fence with self-latching gates and locks. Additionally, all swimming toys should be put away when not in use, so little ones are not tempted to reach for them.
  • Swim Classes—Swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% in children one to four years old, according to the National Institutes of Health. Remain in consistent, year-round swim lessons until your child becomes a safe and confident swimmer.
  • Life Jackets—U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets should be worn appropriately in open water, such as lakes and oceans. Remember that floaties, tubes and inflatable devices are toys, not lifesaving devices.
  • CPR—Caregivers of all ages should be CPR certified and trained in First Aid. Also, keep a phone close by in case of emergency.

At Aqua-Tots, we celebrate stories or survival and urge all parents to begin their child’s swim journey, regardless of age. Because simple skills like learning to roll over, find air and back float may be the very skills that save a child’s life.

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