Parents encouraged to start swim lessons at an early age - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Parents encouraged to start swim lessons at an early age

Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT
Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT
Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT
Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT
Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

Can your child swim? If the answer is no, is their age one of the reasons? Experts say to start them young.

Holly Stamatis was keeping a close eye on her granddaughter Wednesday as she splashed around the pool and though it's been years, she remembers what it was like when her five kids were young.

"When you know if they jump in and they know that they can hold their breath just for as long as they can climb out of that body of water, that peace of mind that comes with that is like no other," said Stamatis. "Especially if you're around a lot of water like we were, they've got to be able to be able to fall in some place, hold their breath long enough to climb out."

That's why she started those lessons early.

"Like the toddlers who were just learning how to walk, they skidaddle so fast, I never let my eyes off of them around water," added Stamatis.

It doesn't take an adult to realize why that's so important.

"What if a friend pushes you in and you do not know how to swim, but he does not know how to do it either," explained nine-year-old Vernon Price. "That's why you should learn to swim at an early age."

If you're wondering what a little bitty child can really learn, you may be surprised. Maley Swim School starts lessons at six months old. They start with the basics like breath control.

"We can have an 8 month old fall in the water and hold their breath while you're trying to grab them, get to them," said owner Linda Maley. "And they're not going to drink the whole pool."

Remember, even if you've gotten the lessons and feel confident in your child's abilities, watch them.

"Lifeguards is not the fail proof measure," described CEO and President of the Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi. "As a parent, just because there's a lifeguard on duty doesn't mean that you can read your book or get lost on the internet or on Facebook. You still need to be attentive."

These reminders apply even if you don't plan to be near a pool this summer. Use the same precautions when you're going to be out by any body of water.

The YMCA has these water safety tips and these drowning facts. Maley Swim School has a collection of swim safety tips here.

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