Posted: Jun 12, 2014 5:51 PM by Rebecca Buchanan
Updated: Jun 12, 2014 6:17 PM
PRAIRIEVILLE - A mom whose son almost drowned is trying to keep other kids safe by teaching survival swimming for toddlers.
She teaches children 18 months and up to float or swim to safety and wait for help. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children between one and four years old. In the last five years, 20 children under the age of 14 have drowned in Baton Rouge and 100 across the state. Taylor Alexander at Tadpole Academy said it's a feeling she doesn't want any mother to experience.
"It's the worst feeling you can possibly feel in the whole world that your child could leave you that quickly," Alexander said. "Last summer my three year old fell into the water while I was putting sunscreen on my baby and he went straight to the bottom of the pool."
The near death of her son drives her every day to teach toddlers to swim safely.
The American Academy of Pediatric's said lessons are needed, but they warn parents to make sure children are emotionally ready and that children have the core strength to move through the water.
"New studies that have come out that actually show that between 1-4 years of age swim lessons can reduce their risk of drowning. So the most recent recommendations and what I tell parents is base the decision on when to enroll your child in swim lessons on several factors, mainly being how frequently are they around water," said Dr. Mindy Calandro.