Babies as young as 2 months old are learning to swim at SWIMkids USA in Mesa.
Lauren Anderson brought her 5-month-old baby to her first class.
“I think it’s really important to teach kids to be safe in water. There’s a lot of horror stories, so I’d like to avoid that," Anderson said.
This weekend, a 3-year-old drowned in Mesa, and a 6-year-old died in an Avondale drowning. At both homes, fences surrounded the backyard pools.
In the swim class, parents get their babies in the water to learn specific movements.
“It was natural for him," Bri Askins said about her 3-month-old baby who takes swim classes. "It’s kind of like being in mom’s belly, and he loved it.”
They’re learning to float, roll onto their backs, and they're even getting their heads underwater and learning to push themselves up.
“We talk about mapping it out ahead of time so that they kind of know what’s going on before we start throwing in the element of going under water," said Nathan Askins, marketing director with SWIMkids USA.
Parents can go at their own pace with their babies. They learn to give their babies verbal and physical cues, such as blowing a puff of air in their baby's face before preparing them to go under water.
“They’ll close their eyes, and they’ll close their mouth, and they’ll really prepare themselves," Askins said. "It’s amazing to see these babies learn these life-saving skills. It’s really awesome.”
Knowing that drownings happen most among kids 1 to 4 years old, these parents are being proactive in teaching their kids skills that can save their lives.
First responders are always urging the ABC's of water safety: "A" for adult supervision; "B" for barriers, like fences around pools and alarm systems; and "C" for classes.
SWIMkids USA offers their classes free for babies 2 to 7 months old.