BRYAN, Texas — Whether it's the lake, the pool, or say the river, water seems to draw us all in during the hot summer months. These places can turn deadly, especially if you don't know how to swim.
We found resources here in the Brazos Valley community to help your child learn survival techniques and skills to prepare them for any water situation.
Angela Brown is an ISR instructor and owner of H20 Survival Swim school where she teaches kids to be a master of water.
“It’s survival swim techniques for infants six months to six years old. The purpose of that is to not only teach them how to swim but to have survival skills. But beyond that, it’s to teach them how to problem solve in the water so they become aquatic problem solvers.”
Infants ages 6 months to 1 year will first learn to float which will help them with breath control.
After that, they’re going to learn that if they fall in, they [must] roll onto their backs to get their air and maintain [it] until a parent gets there,” says Brown.
Children ages one to six will learn a swim sequence to help with technique. This helps them when they need air by teaching them to roll over on their backs.
“They get their air there, they rest if they need to rest and then they will flip back over, continue their swim until they can find an edge or something they can hold onto until a parent can get there,” says Brown.
Brown says on average, the program is six weeks; five days a week for 10-minute one-on-one sessions.
“Attention span for children; they’re not going to learn anything beyond 10 minutes,” says Brown. “So you want them to get out and be successful, and you want that consistency and that pattern for that five-day period because research shows that’s how they learn the best.”
Children are learning the barriers of the water by experiencing it, Brown says.
“Up until maybe four or five years old, they’re learning by sensory-motor learning,” says Brown. “That’s how they learn how to crawl, how they learn how to walk.”
And it’s paying off. Parent Ashton Metz is relieved her 4-year-old daughter Blayke has learned these important skills in the event of drowning.
“It can happen in a split second and that’s terrifying to know,” says Metz. “Giving your kids the best skills that they can have is something that’s just priceless.”
According to Infant Swim, drowning can happen in the blink of an eye. 70 percent of children who drown are typically in the care of their parents and it can happen within five minutes.
Brown says it is best to train kids while they’re young.
“They will only become better swimmers,” says Brown. “It’s better to get confidence now. The longer you wait to introduce them, the problem is they can gain fears from other people or other circumstances. You don’t want to wait until they have a traumatic event or an uncertain event before they have the skills.”
As a mom, Metz says water made her feel uneasy, and wanted Blayke to have the best knowledge.
“They have gotten good goals,” says Metz. “They play together, but also while learning the new skill that is being introduced, so overall it has been an amazing experience.”
Brown says 17 children will graduate from the survival swim school today and 22 new infants will start their swim journey on Monday.