Swimming schools can help kids stay safe in water

Posted: Updated:
By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman
By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman
By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman
By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman
By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As summer approaches, officials hope swimming classes can teach children about safety in the water and help prevent incidents of drowning in the coming months.

Six Valley children have died from drowning so far in 2014, more than the area has seen in a decade. The latest incident came this Sunday when a 10-year-old girl drowned in Saguaro Lake. Authorities said the girl did not know how to swim.

Children at Hubbard Family Swim School in Peoria learn to swim at a young age, with some classes offered for infants six months old and younger. Bob Hubbard says that while you can never be completely safe in the water, you can be safer.

"Getting your children in some lessons not only makes the child safer, but it makes the family safer," Hubbard said. "The family learns what to do around the pool."

Keri Dockter took her son to the school when he was just a baby so he could learn to reach the side of a pool on his own.

"I do feel a lot more confident knowing that both of my kids are very comfortable in the water and that they’re both very good swimmers," Dockter said.

Even parents who cannot afford nice swims schools can still find a way to teach their children about safety in the water. The city of Phoenix offers two-week swim lessons for as low as $3.

"It’s one of those layers of protection against drowning," says Becky Hulett of City of Phoenix Aquatics. "Not that it will ever drown-proof your child, but it will help prevent or give a parent more time in the situation where a child might become in danger in water."

Children can also take water safety lessons at local YMCAs.

"This month alone, just in April, we’ve been out to see over 15,000 children in our metropolitan area," said Kerri O’Brien of the Valley of the Sun YMCA.