Instructor Contact: Jennifer Matheson
News Story taken from KHON.com
By Manolo Morales
Hawaii kids are learning survival skills even before they’re old enough to go to school.
For 2-year-old Zaffron, this is not a day of fun and sun in the pool. It’s a survival lesson from Infant Swimming Resource. Ten minutes a day, five days a week, she gets one-on-one lessons on how not to drown.
“It’s not a swimming class. This is how to give your kid survival skills in the water,” said Russell Castagnaro, one of the parents.
After a couple of weeks, Zaffron’s already learned to bring her head out of the water to catch her breath, and swim for the edge to safety. Infant Swimming Resource teaches kids from six month to six years old, and the course usually runs four to six weeks, depending on the child. Studies show that drowning is the leading cause of death in many states including Hawaii for kids under four years old.
“It’s just such a preventable tragedy and if we teach these children how to be safe in the water, then we can prevent so many of these things occurring,” said Infant Swimming Resource Instructor Deb Pyrek.
Throughout the course, the children are taught to get out of some likely scenarios, such as accidentally falling off the edge of the pool.
If they’re too far from the edge, they’re taught to float on their back. That’s the basic survival skill especially for the younger children, six to 12 months.
“When they enter into the water, they’re holding their breath. They are taught to roll back onto their backs and maintain a back float until they get rescued,” said Jenni Matheson, also apart of the Infant Swimming Resourse.