This post is sponsored by Safesplash Swim Labs, but like always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I vividly remember the moment I almost drowned. I was 5 years old and I was at my cousins home. They had a huge above-ground swimming pool. I remember laying on a float when the oldest cousin, a teen, knocked me off. And I remember sinking to the bottom, looking up and reaching for air, kicking to breath and fortunately making my way to the surface, pulling myself out of the pool and crying harder than I can remember.
I was lucky because drowning is the leading cause of preventable death among kids in the US.
When I had my son I knew that I wanted him to learn to swim. We tried a couple of swim schools but they were more focused on getting him comfortable in the water. Every weekend either myself or my husband would get in the pool and sing “I’m a little tea pot” and plead with our two-year old to get his hair wet. These classes were cute, but they didn’t do the job of teaching our son survival skills.
This past summer we joined our gyms pool, basically a toddler wonderland.
We felt safe there.
A splash area, lots of shallow ends, and life guards that did a great job of watching the kids. We decided to go one Saturday when my sister-in-laws family was in town. We got the kids suited up and fitted with their puddle jumpers, which Christian had never worn before but we were putting our faith in, and headed into the pool. All was fun until the dreaded noon pool break occurred. Christian was more than disappointed, but we lured him out to play in the slash pad area. He played with his cousins and all was well.
Until I looked away for a second.
I turned to tell someone something, turned to look back at Christian, and he was gone. Then I heard the whistle. The last life guard left on duty caught our son, climbing into the pool, unattended.
He was one of the lucky ones.
Drowning doesn’t always happen while we are in the pool watching our kids. It happens the moment we get out, we think they are busy inside the house or playing in the splash pad area, but instead they have slipped silently under the water.
Drowning occurs when we’ve placed our faith in puddle jumpers and a child finds themselves in a deep end and thinks if they stand up straight they will float, like in puddle jumpers, but instead of floating they sink.
Since that incident I have been scouring the city for a swim school that is serious about teaching my stubborn son to swim, and I finally found it at Safe Splash Swim School and Swim Labs. Though it looks unassuming from its exterior It is a one of a kind facility that meets every level of swimmer from child to competitive.
I’ll be honest at first I was apprehensive. That was until we had our first class.
The facility is not huge, but has everything and more that one would need. The pool is warm for our son (that’s a big deal) and all the instructors have a swim background. With this Safe Splash being a part of Swim Labs the instructors are serious athletes in their field and train other athletes but they also teach are littles the necessary life skill of swim in a patient and encouraging way.
This is huge for a toddler that has his own agenda on how things should go.
I also love that I am not only NOT in the pool with him. I’m not even in the room with him. As a former teacher I’ll tell you a secret about your kids, they WILL listen to others better than you. So knowing this, I knew that I wanted to be removed from the pool. I did not want to impede his learning. There is a bench inside the pool for those first-time nervous parents, but besides that the tables and benches are located on the other side of the glass where we cheer quietly for our kids giving them a thumbs up and taking photos.
We just finished our third week at Swim Splash and truly love it. The facility is great, conveniently located, the staff have been great and most importantly Christian has been progressing. If you are in Louisville, Ky or any major city you should seriously check out Safe Splash Swim Labs.
It IS the best swim school that I have found and I have looked at all of them!
To check out the Safe Splash Swim School website head HERE and mention The Bluegrass Mom to try a class for free and to hangout with us.