According to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four.
That’s why once a video, produced by the “Infant Swimming Resource” made its way onto Natalie Doolittle’s computer screen a few months ago, she immediately signed up her 10-month old daughter Elise for lessons at Little Fish Swimming in Fredericksburg.
“I can’t imagine her falling in and not being able to float on her back and us not being able to find her in time,” she said.
“I mean, if you have a pool in your backyard, or even if you just go visit a pool, it’s just really important to be safe, because you can’t have your eyes on them at all times,” said Ashley Jones, who is one of the instructors at Little Fish.
Jones said that children can join their six-week program as young as six months old.
“We start by teaching them how to float…that’s the first thing,” she said.
Once the kids get older and more experienced, she teaches them the “swim, float, swim,” technique.
“Watching her being dunked under and then flipping right to her back—it’s really cool to see that a baby that young can do that,” Doolittle said.
Officials say it's good to start kids young—which they have no real fear of water. While the lessons do cost money, many families say the cost is worth it.