Baby swim expert writes book to help kids swim

Posted by Sheli Muniz -email

 WELLINGTON(WFLX)---In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4. That's why swim instructors say teaching your kids to swim is not an option.

Owner of British Swim School in Wellington is trying to encourage everyone to jump in the pool.

Swim school owner Rita Goldberg said, "Lots of parents say don't go near the water. Be careful! And it really puts fear there."

Goldberg says studies show that's the main reason why many people don't teach their kids how to swim---a practice she believes is dangerous in Florida because of all the water.

In fact, the Florida Department of Health reports more kids under 5 years old die here than in any other state.

As a result, she wrote the book "I Love to Swim" to try to change the minds of not only children, but parents as well.

Goldberg said, "To encourage parents to talk to their children, to read to their children about the job of swimming."

The book follows the adventures of a little boy learning to swim. Rita said that through his lessons, parents can learn tips on how to start getting their kids used to water.

And children can learn what to expect during classes.

Goldberg said, "Because if you prepare a child in that tub as the book shows you, it's not frightened of water in it's face or water in his eyes and if you splash it, it's not frightened of the noise. Kids connect with stories. Kids love books. You give them a book, you can read the book to them, get them warmed up to the idea of being in the water."

Kim Maloon's 6-year-old daughter has been taking swim lessons at Rita's school for 2 years.

She said in that short time, she's learned to float, tread water, swim strokes and dive, skills that provide Kim some water comfort.

Maloon said, "I don't leave her by herself, but I know that she can take care of herself and be okay."

Rita said most kids can learn to float on their backs and survive in just a few months---and the sooner you start, the better.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents start considering swim lessons between the ages of 1 and 4.

Click here to find the book "I Love to Swim".