By now, you’ve probably figured out that we offer toddler swim lessons. I’ve heard the service we offer get called everything from essential life-saving skills to torture and waterboarding.
I get it. To onlookers – sometimes strangers and sometimes family – infant/toddler swim lessons appear cruel and uncalled for. The new student is “taken” from their parent and introduced to the pool, many times kicking and screaming. This is just the first of many scary events over the next few weeks.
Next, the precious little one hears the call to action – “Ready…GO!” and suddenly, these little ones grow eight arms and ten legs. They try to cling on to anything they can latch onto to no avail. The instructor hears them take a quick breath to scream and that’s the cue. Into the water, face first they go, only to be lifted out of the water by another strange person, who then repeats the process.
Then, they go onto their backs. The screams that were stifled by the water at first are full tilt now. What child likes to be put on their back in the water. Really? And then they’re brought back the next day for more?
To the average person, that doesn’t sound like much fun or even necessary. Maybe even unsettling. But, listen to the stories from the parents who brought their children here in the first place. One momma told me the story of the day she was working around her pool. She said she looked up to see that her 3-year-old had stepped off into the water over her head.
This could have ended in disaster, but the mother stood amazed as she watched her precious little one put her newly learned, life-saving skills into action and reach safety on her own.
That’s why we do what we do at The School of Yaya’s Fishes.
Have you ever heard a child drown? No, and you probably won’t. Witnesses of children falling into a pool have said that all they heard was a soft “plunk” and then nothing. No sound at all. Drowning is silent, and it could happen anywhere – even in a bathtub.
The next time you are deciding whether to invest in infant/toddler swim lessons, know that they are worth it. Remember this: If they are screaming, they are breathing.
Here’s to your little one earning their fins!
Help us share these vital survival lessons with other children in Northeast Arkansas by donating to the scholarship fund, made possible by the SAFE Swim Foundation.