SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - At three months old, Samuel is already getting a head start on most of his peers. He’s learning how to swim at the AquaSafe Swim School’s Babbles and Bubbles class.
“He does love to float on his back,” said his mother Allison Porter.
Babbles and Bubbles is a free class for babies from six weeks to five months old. It’s the pre-course to the school’s AquaBaby class.
Samuel and his classmates are learning how to feel comfortable in the water.
“So, they have the self-awareness of how they feel in the water. Weightlessness. Just the early stages of learning how to control their body,” said Porter.
While a lot of parents might hesitate to get their babies into swimming lessons so soon, the parents in this class feel the benefits outweigh the fear.
“I definitely have that fear every time we're in the water because he does have a tendency to dunk his head and flop it into the water. But it feels good knowing that as he gets older he’ll know how to swim. He is in a pool almost every single weekend,” said Porter.
All the training is led by a certified instructor. The babies learn safe entry and exits. They simulate falls into water to know how the water feels and how to react.
“We teach them how to roll over. Take a breath. Roll back onto their tummy and kick to the wall,” said Ally Hixon. The Babbles and Bubbles instructor.
The babies may lack the arm strength right now to pull themselves out. However, parents still show their little ones how they can get out of the pool.
“We also teach them monkey walks -- where they use their hands on the wall and walk to the step and climb out safely,” said Hixon.
The new skills the babies learn will hopefully give them a chance to keep them from drowning and, most importantly, it give parents a little peace of mind.
“God forbid, something happen, I know he can hold his breath for four seconds under water. I just bought him four extra seconds. Four extra seconds to be the difference between me picking him up and patting him on the back and something else,” said Nikole Fletcher, whose son graduated from the Babbles and Bubbles class.
The hope is this beginning class focused on teaching awareness will help save some lives.
“Number one prevention is watching your kids around water. Number two is teaching them about the water,” said Hixon.
AquaSafe has locations in Scottsdale and Gilbert. For more information, visit aquasafeswim.com