SUMMERTIME SWIM SAFETY - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

SUMMERTIME SWIM SAFETY

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ALEXANDRIA, LA.- Two per minute. Add that up and you get the number of people that die from drowning around the world each year...and half of those are children. More young children die each year from drowning than car accidents. As News Channel 5's Rachael Penton found out, that's exactly why your children should get an early start when learning how to swim.

When Michelle Jennings heard about the scary splash her 3 year old son Conner took this summer, she realized that it was time for him to learn some swimming safety.

"Just recently my 3 year old jumped into a pool and had my sister not been there he would have drowned, so I decided that since he had no fear that this was the best time to learn how to swim and also to learn some safety techniques," says mother of three, Michelle Jennings.

So she signed him up for swimming lessons at the YWCA. and according to swim instructor and lifeguard Annie Dewitt, it's best for kids to start young...so Conner is at the perfect age.

"When they're about to turn three or when they are three is good for them to just be comfortable with the water and know that they can have fun in it and it not be scary," says Dewitt.

For the little ones learning how to swim for the first time, it's both exciting...and scary.

"Sometimes they're really scared at first. Sometimes they won't even put their feet in. So we usually just put their feet in at first, get them to do little splashes and then if they're really comfortable with it we have to watch them from jumping in and going crazy in the water," adds Dewitt.

And while the kids are having fun splashing around, mom is just glad she no longer has to hold her breath around the pool.

"It makes me feel a lot better. I can relax around the pool a little bit and not be so worried and on pins and needles while he's in the water so it makes me feel a lot better," says Jennings.

She's doing her part to make sure her son doesn't become a summertime swimming statistic.

"He could have been a child that drowned so it's really scary and it made me want even more for him to learn how to swim."

Summertime is a great time for swimming lessons. Here in Alexandria the YWCA offers five levels of swim lessons on various times and days. You can contact the YWCA for more information on how to sign your child up at 318-442-3397.

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