According to statistics, drowning is ranked second as the leading cause of accidental death among children below the age of fourteen. In Singapore, as the June holidays are fast approaching, parents are eagerly signing their child up for swimming lessons. They tend to want them to be equip with swimming skills as well as water survival skills. The main thing that parents should ensure during such classes is that the instructor ensures that safety of the students is the top priority.

In the United States, parents are more open towards the idea of swimming lessons for toddlers. Take for example, Hollen, who is just two years of age. She is currently practicing a skill that doesn’t come natural to toddlers. “If they fall into the pool they don’t understand to reach up and grab the side.  They’re going to push themselves back away typically,” stated her father and instructor, Liam Goudeket. Over the years, swimming lessons have evolved, especially in Western countries. There are now more private companies coming in to develop and offer lessons specifically catered towards babies as well as toddlers.

“A child can drown in as little time as it takes to answer the telephone,” said Bill Goudeket, founder of FINS or Fun In Swimming, who started FINS because of his passion. With the assistance of his wife and his three kids, he has built pools in three area locations. “Swimming changed my life.  I actually failed beginning swimming four times.  God allowed it to become my best sport, which is very ironic,” explained Bill.

Liam displayed what a typical two-year-old is capable of after a few months of lessons. Hollen was able to hold her breath for about five to seven seconds as well as float on her back on her own for ten seconds. “I’m confident if she were to fall in the pool it would give me time to react because as a parent I know it’s ultimately my responsibility to be vigilant over my child,” he mentioned.

When a child is four years old, he/she can already learn a swim, float, swim sequence and overall water safety. The philosophy of FINS is similar to any other programs, which isn’t to build the fastest swimmer but the safest. “One is safe surroundings.  Fence your pools.  Two, parents need to be first responders and learn CPR and First Aid.  And three, and we think most important, get your child swim lessons,” said Bill. He also reminded parents that not every child progresses at the same pace, so regular and consistent practices is the key to success. For the full story, check it out here.