THROUGH MOM’S EYES: SWIM LESSONS SAVE LIVES
Oklahoma Swim Academy has truly blessed our family and without a doubt has given us the gift of water safety, which is something that should not be overlooked by parents wishing to keep their child(ren) safe. Our family has been a part of the Oklahoma Swim Academy family for over four years, and we have been absolutely delighted with our experience at OSA! We started swim lessons with our oldest son when he was 18 months old and never looked back. We have had him consistently in swim lessons 1-2 times per week at OSA for that entire four year period. Today, at 5 years old, he actually swims better than my husband and I! He can do the breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle swimming like a champ. He can also dive for rings deep in the water and he looks just like a little fish. It’s truly remarkable! But, the best part is that he LOVES being in the water and he is SAFE in the water. Our daughter (2 years old) has been taking lessons for about a year and she floats and safely gets to the wall and out of the pool without any trouble at all already. What a blessing for this momma (especially during the summer months when we spend a lot of time near water).
Because we do not own a swimming pool I have had friends and associates ask me frequently why I feel that learning to swim at such a young age is so important for my kiddos. After all, it is an investment of time and money to give my children this opportunity. Allow me to share my four biggest reasons:
1- Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4 (except congenital anomalies). No amount of time or money is worth saving if I can’t save my child from drowning, since it is something that CAN be prevented. One of my primary roles as a parent is to provide my children with safety. What better way than to invest in keeping them safe in and near water?
2- Sometimes adults mistakenly think that children won’t drown if they don’t have a pool or other large body of water near their homes. But, all of us have bathtubs, and many of us bathe our little ones almost every single day. Any parent of young children can relate to having their little one sneak away without a sound, only to realize (usually within a couple of minutes) they are in the bathroom pulling toilet paper off the roll, throwing toys in the toilet, and making messes that only a young child can create. If a child can drown in as few as 30 seconds, we as parents should be thinking very seriously about equipping them with the skills they need to rescue themselves if they get into a tricky situation near a bathtub, toilet, small swimming pool, large swimming pool or other body of water.
3- Swimming is a life saving skill that provides confidence to young people who can safely navigate water. Not only can strong swimming skills save a child, but they have the potential to save others as well. If someone was in trouble in the water, I would want my children to have the confidence to be able to help!
4- Swimming is an activity that many people enjoy participating in, so having the ability to enjoy water safely is an essential skill just to have fun and experience the fullness of life’s opportunities. One of my favorite things about swim lessons is watching my children have so much FUN! They smile, laugh, and have the best time with their teachers in the water. OSA has created such a wonderful environment for young people to learn.
To conclude, I want to share a story to highlight a moment I had recently that solidified for me the impact that our decision to have our children in swim lessons has had. In December 2018, my son and I went to visit family in Houston. They have a beautiful swimming pool in the backyard, but it was still too cold to swim in. So, we sat near the pool, reading, playing and soaking in the sunshine. As I was reading my book, I suddenly heard a loud SPLASH! I looked up and saw that my then four year old son had tumbled into the 50 degree water. Amazingly, I didn’t panic because I knew he was prepared for a moment just like this. I quickly walked over to the edge and looked at my four year olds shocked face and then proudly watched as he safely swam to the edge where I gave him a hand to help him out of the freezing cold water. Brrrr! We quickly got him warmed up and dried off and had a conversation about how grateful we were that he knew how to swim so well that even when he unexpectedly fell into cold water he was able to respond and get himself quickly to safety. I can only imagine how panicked I would have felt if my son didn’t know how to swim. The situation would have been MUCH more frightening and potentially even life threatening. Because my husband and I had chosen to invest time and money into preparing him for an event of that nature, all was just fine (and we were even able to giggle about the shock of the cold water afterwards). The peace of mind swimming lessons has given me as a mother cannot have a price tag attached to it. It is worth everything to me!
I cannot thank Megan and Brian at Oklahoma Swim Academy enough for the wonderful swim school they have created! Our family is blessed every single day by the gift of swimming and we are grateful to be a part of the OSA family where we are always greeted with smiles and warm hellos!
Emily Jensen, Owner of The Beacon School and Mother to 2 OSA Swimmers