Victoria moms work with Baby Otter Swim School to prevent childhood drowning
VICTORIA, Texas — Would your child know what to do if they fell in a pool? Every year around 4,000 people drown in the United States, many of the victims are children making it a silent killer and leading cause of death. A group of Victoria moms worked with Baby Otter Swim School to take a stand against this statistic.
One child at a time, Baby Otter is helping prevent drowning accidents. Co-founder Mindy York says it’s never too young, as the dangers of drowning begin when a child is able to crawl.
After just a week of training, one-year-old Parker Staudt can swim better than some adults can. Baby Otter Swim School teaches the infants to swim to the edge of the pool, grab on, and hold on until someone is there to pull them to safety.
This process involves a lot of screaming and crying, York says this is normal and a lack of crying could mean that your child has water in their lungs.
York says she has a background in business, but decided to dedicate her life to Baby Otter after nearly losing a child herself.
“I was sitting out at the pool with my son, you know, just turned around for a minute, and there she was laying at the bottom of the pool,” York says.
Her technique has saved many lives, York recalls several instances where she has people thank her years later for her work, as it saved their child, brother, nieces, or nephews life.
Some however, aren’t that lucky.
“I knew I needed to do something so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to another parent,” Mother Casey Staudt says.
A group of Victoria moms invited the Baby Otter Instructors to teach their chidlren water survival skills, which can change a matter of life or death in seconds.
“This is a survival skill.. if they fall in, they’re going to know what to do and it buys you time.. they are going to go to the edge of the pool and they are going to hang on so that’s what we were looking for,” Staudt says.
Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under five, yet it is so preventable.
“So these kids here, these amazing little water babies in Victoria will be able to swim to the wall alone, and then to the steps with assistance,” York says.
Staudt says she wants to stress the importance of water safety to all parents, as bodies of water are everywhere whether it’s a pool, or a pond.
“I feel very proud as a parent and I feel blessed that we found these individuals in the baby otter swim school,” Staudt says.
York shared a few tips including keeping toys away from the pool, fencing, and making sure water levels are where they need to be. If water levels are too low, babies can’t reach the edge to hold on.
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