Learn to Swim Programs Focus On Safety First - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Learn to Swim Programs Focus On Safety First

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The statistic can't get repeated enough.  Drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death among kids under 14.  As we get closer to Memorial Day, parents are scrambling to make sure their kids are water safe.  Fox 26's Sally MacDonald met a local family who is making it their mission to lessen the drowning risk.

Hollen is just two years old, 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," said her father and instructor, Liam Goudeket.

In recent years swim lessons have evolved.  More and more private businesses are jumping in and developing a curriculum for babies on up. 

"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. 

He started FINS out of a passion.  Along with his wife and three kids, he's 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," said Goudeket. 

Liam shows us what a typical two-year-old can do after months of lessons.  Hollen holds her breath for five to seven seconds and floats on her back independently 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," said Goudeket.

Four-year-olds can learn a swim, float, swim sequence and overall water safety.  The philosophy of FINS, like other programs, 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 Goudeket.

Not every child will progress as quickly. FINS instructors say practice year round, especially for kids five and younger, is key.

"Can you put a price on your child's life?  That's I think the biggest argument.  You're teaching them a life skill, and can you really put a value on your child's safety?  This is more safety related than anything," said Liam Goudeket.

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