“What my daughter learned at Aqua-Tots helped save her life. I believe that 100%. They put safety first, and she knew what to do when she accidentally fell into the pool.”
Amy Bowen is all of us. She’s a watchful mom of two – son John Luke (4 years) and daughter Ava (3 years) – and an intentional caretaker. She does everything possible to keep her children safe, day in and day out, and in February 2018, Amy chose to enroll her children in swim lessons at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Lexington, KY.
“We have a pool and a boat. We spend a lot of time on the water, so I knew I wanted my kids in lessons for safety,” says Amy. “Usually I’m a crazy helicopter mom making sure their puddle jumpers are on or that I’m right there with them.” However, Amy had no idea that each lesson would be worth its weight in gold by summer’s end.
On a relaxing Friday night in August, the Bowens invited friends over for dinner and swimming and, as with any casual gathering of friends, the children played in the backyard while the adults chatted around the outdoor kitchen table.
“Mid-conversation we heard a splash…THANKFULLY we heard the splash,” recalls Amy, still shaken. This good fortune…this miracle…whatever you want to call it is important because the reality is that drowning is silent. Rarely do parents hear any kind of commotion, splashing, gasping, coughing or calls for help.
“When we looked up, Ava had fallen into the deep end of the pool, fully clothed,” Amy continues. “We don’t know how it happened, but our son was sitting with his feet in the water, so we assume Ava was trying to join him and fell in.”
Amy’s husband, Lucas, immediately scaled the waist-high wall separating the patio from the pool and dove into the water, shoes and all, swimming toward his little girl. Amy stayed on land, darting around the perimeter of the pool, racing time and her husband to reach Ava first.
Lucas and Amy knew that drowning only takes minutes and that every second Ava was in that water mattered. After all, she had only been in swim lessons for a few months.
But then they saw it, “Ava was swimming to the ladder,” Amy says. “She was pulling herself out. She was never stressed, she never even coughed. She was completely calm. Because of that, we let her continue out of the pool herself, and that was hard. When I realized she was using the swimming techniques she had learned, a calm came over me. As soon as she was out, I grabbed her and hugged her.”
Although the reality of how quickly a child can fall into the water will forever mark their memories, Amy recalls, “I know the Lord was watching over Ava that night, but more importantly because of the lessons from Aqua-Tots, she was able to help herself.”
Amy has made it her mission to encourage other parents to be proactive…intentional…about swim lessons. “No matter the age, no matter the season, enroll your child in swim lessons. They’re so important for safety, and you’ll have such peace-of-mind when you see what they have learned. The night Ava was in the pool replays over and over in my mind, but I’m thankful that we were there to witness it. That night could have been a nightmare, but swim lessons saved her life.”
At Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, we know that accidents happen, and that is why we are passionate about teaching children to swim as early as 4 months old. Enroll your child in year-round lessons today, so that their swim story, like Ava’s, has a happy ending!