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KVEO Rio Grande Valley

ABCs of Safe Swimming

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Franchisee, Gabriela Garcia, joins Valley por Vida’s Danielle Banda to discuss swimming through the fall and winter and why it’s just as important as swimming in the summertime.

“Swimming is a lifesaving skill. It’s a skill that kids should be working on year-round,” says Garcia who owns schools in the Rio Grande Valley. “Swimming is important for everybody. From a very young age, it’s never too early to start. We teach children from four months and older all the way through adults.

“Why is swimming so important? It’s like buckling your child with a seatbelt in your car. It’s just as important. You don’t want to take your child around riding in the car without a seatbelt. You don’t want to get them in a body of water without having those life-saving skills.”

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death among children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death for children under 14.

“Drowning is a major issue. It’s something we really have to focus on. It’s important to get our kids ready with this skill. And it’s not just during the summer; it’s something that we should practice year-round. Some kids, yes, are very avid and they learn quickly, but some don’t. Some take a little bit longer. Parents all of a sudden get into the rush—’It’s summertime, my kids don’t know how to swim. We have a pool party. We have a vacation coming up.’—They’re not always ready so quickly, and if you don’t use it, you lose it. We want to keep them practicing.

“Right now is a perfect time to keep them in swim lessons. It’s just an extra part of their activities. We’re back to school, we’re back into a routine. Let’s keep swimming as a part of their routine as well.”

Gabriela goes on to explain the importance of the ABCs of Water Safety—adult supervision, barriers and swim classes—as well as the fact that 69% of drownings happen when children are not expected to be around water.

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