ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local survival swim instructor gives kids swimming advice following the drowning of a 5-year-old in Fort Smith Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Sarah Gwin is a Master Infant Survival Swim Instructor, she’s been focused on training kids how to survive in the water for 8 years. She teaches three things – breath control, boundaries and goggles.
Typically kids are taught to blow bubbles while swimming, but Gwin says they should do the opposite. Taking a big breath in before jumping in gives them more control.
Parents should stay away from the popular puddle jumper floaties, she says these make kids think they will always float.
She says it’s important to let your child realize that every time they jump in the water, they will sink to the bottom but come back up.
Goggles reduce extra sensory stimulus, giving kids the opportunity to focus on one thing, their breath. Gwin says once they have that in control, they will be able to learn how to move in the water and stay safe.
“Once you can control your breath, once you can control your senses and head positioning, everything else opens up…We take it from a reactive point of view to a proactive point of view,” Gwin says.
And last, she says teaching your child to have their arms pointed out in front of them, rather than splashing on the sides will keep them moving forward rather than being stopped and potentially going under the water.