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Oklahoma woman teaches infants water safety

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 7:24 PM CST
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ARDMORE, Oklahoma (KXII) - Twenty-eight-month-old Cooper Bradshaw loves to swim.

His younger brother, fourteen-month-old Case, isn’t as big a fan. But the boy’s dad, Cody Bradshaw, said Case is being brave and learning to be safe in the water.

“You think you know their abilities are pretty limited at that age,” Bradshaw said. “But it’s pretty impressive to watch what they’ve gone through. Where they started and where they’ve ended up.”

Survival swim isn’t your everyday swim lessons. It focuses on teaching very young kids-from six months to four years-how to problem solve in a water emergency.

“We are teaching them how to hold their breath, how to roll over and float, how to save themselves in an emergency,” certified survival swim instructor Darcey Smith said.

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under four.

“It’s not just a swimming pool that they’re going to drown in,” Smith said. “It’s a bucket of water, it’s ponds that they might have at their house, a bathtub, things like that. So there’s just no [one] season for drowning.”

The lessons are ten minutes long, just long enough to keep a toddler’s attention while they master the skills, but not so long they get worn out.

Like many parents, at first Bradshaw was unsure.

“I wasn’t one hundred percent for it because I didn’t think they were old enough for it in the beginning,” Bradshaw said. “But we live on a ranch and so even if it’s a pond or a creek, you can’t keep an eye on them all the time. And we’re gonna have them out there around those areas, so I think it’s a need.”

And he’s proud of his sons' progress.

“You can see a big improvement in both boys,” Bradshaw said. “But it’s been pretty neat to watch the youngest one.”

Smith’s next session begins in January, which you can register for on her Facebook page.

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