Coaches urge swim lessons in light of recent drownings

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - Parents are being urged to teach their kids to swim in light of the recent drownings in Texoma this week.

Swim lessons for kids start as early as infant to preschool.

Swim coaches say it's never too early and never too late to learn skills that could save you or someone else's life.

"Swimming lessons are one of the most important things you could learn," said parent Terrell Davis.

"Any young kid that's going to be around water in the summertime needs to know how to swim," said parent Cindy Patterson.

Cindy Patterson said her 8-year-old son knows how to swim, but they could both use a refresher.

"I need some fresh swimming lessons. I haven't had swimming lessons since I was their age. We're all a group of people that needs swimming lessons," Patterson said.

"Because at some point in time, whether you like water or not, you're going to end up having to keep your head above water," Davis said.

The five drownings in the past eight days in Texoma hit home for Davis.

He found his friend's child dead in a farm pond.

So to him, swim lessons are vital.

"That's one of the most important things, a gift you can give your child or yourself for that matter," Davis said.

City of Denison aquatics program coordinator Dori Smith said swim lessons at Waterloo Pool start at six months old with a parent.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said research proves formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning in children ages one to four.

"I've been teaching swim lessons for over 20 years, and it breaks my heart when I see a drowning on the news," Smith said.

Smith said there's been an increase in calls this week with people wanting to sign up, even though they're full for the summer.

"Get your kids in swim lessons, it's never too late," Smith said.

There's one more session for swim lessons this summer at Fairview Pool in Sherman, and there's a wait list for lessons at Waterloo Pool in Denison.

See "Related Links" for other swim lessons around Texoma.