Little Squirts Aquatics Teaching Young Children Water Survival Skills

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Summer may be coming to an end, but with these hot temperatures, there’s still time to hit the lake or pool.

Although swimming can be fun, it could also be dangerous for kids who don’t know how to swim.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Emerson is learning a swim technique that can help save her life.

Recently at a pool party, Emerson snuck away and got into the pool unattended.

“It was a near-death experience. We had to do CPR and she had to go to children’s (hospital) in Little Rock and she’s luckily completely fine, but we wanted to make sure that we never had that experience again," said Emerson's mother, Ashley Bernstein.

Little Squirts Aquatics instructor Libby McFarland teaches children like Emerson how to swim with their faces in the water, roll over onto their back to rest, roll back over and then continue to swim.

“I can safeguard and put fences around the pool and do all these things that can maybe prevent it, but it ultimately comes down to them knowing how to save themselves if that situation ever came," McFarland said.

The 10-minute lesson takes place four days a week, for six weeks.

“I was terrified. It was probably worse for me than it was for her, but after a couple of lessons, she did great," Bernstein said. "It was hard to watch, but it was important to get her back in there."

Emerson is no longer scared of the water and her mom recommends getting lessons sooner rather than later.

“Don’t wait. I mean we were waiting just because we were busy but it’s really important to not wait," Bernstein said.

McFarland says lessons can be done with children as young as 6 months old.

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