Little swimmer: What skills could save a child’s life

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — During the summer, more people head out to the lake or chill by the pool, and accidents can happen in a matter of seconds.

Infant Aquatics of Lubbock said children should begin taking classes even before they learn how to walk.

Infant Aquatics of Lubbock’s Group Instructor, Jeri Ybarra, said teaching children how to swim at a young age could save their life.

“In reality, we have kids as young as six months that get in the water and excel, and it’s incredible to watch,” Ybarra said.

Ybarra also said many parents might have misconceptions about when they should consider enrolling their children in swim lessons.

“I think there is a misconception that –oh, my child is too young — they can’t do that yet — or they’re not capable of this yet,” Ybarra said.

But children are quick learners and pick up on survival skills faster than most people would realize.

Rayah Schneweis, at 1-year-old, can already navigate her way around the pool. Rayah can flip onto her back to float and can even swim a few feet to reach the steps of the pool.

Rayah’s father, Matthew Schneweis, said she took to the lessons right away.

“Once you get her in the water, she’s pretty good after that,” Schneweis said.

Both of Rayah’s parents said classes were essential, and they believe swimming helped build her back and leg muscles for walking.

“We’ve had her in the water since she was born. Since we love being around the water as much as we do, these classes are a must-have,” Schneweis said.

The owner of Infant Aquatics of Lubbock, Jordan Dunlap, said parents should know that there is a big difference between swim lessons and survival lessons. Also, that infants are the right age to start lessons.

“I say as early as six months and sitting unassisted,” Dunlap said. “Everything that we teach is off muscle memory horizontally. So, we like to get them as early as possible.”

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