Water Safety in Marion County
Three-year- old Laramie just started taking swimming lessons four weeks ago.
While little Laramie still has more to learn before she can dive and swim in a pool by herself, her mother Destiny Butler said while she wants her kids to learn how to swim, she also wants them to learn how to survive.
"A child can learn how to swim and know how to swim fine, but if he is thrown in accidentally or if he falls in accidentally it's a whole different kind of reflex that the child experiences. I just wanted my children to almost get started learning how to survive and then build off of that," said Butler.
Drownings are the leading cause of accidental death for children ages one to four.
Every day in america an average of three children drown.
Last year there were five drowning deaths in Marion County alone.
This year Marion County and the city of Ocala created a water safety campaign called "Prepare.Protect.Prevent."
During the month of May, residents can attend a 30 minute demonstration class.
Nicole Meade is an infant swimming rescource instructor who speaks at the classes.
"I don't think that there's any way to drown proof your child, but you can give them every chance and every opportunity possible by adding all these barriers to them. Gates and alarms. Supervision is key and obviously learning some sort of survival skill will help your child," said Meade.
Meade said some survival skills are showing your child how to roll over and float.
As well as teaching them how to hold their breath.
Those who attend the demonstration classes also get hands on CPR training.
"If it's a small child you can grab it around the chest, put your thumbs between the nipple lines and compress at least 100 times per minute," said Jesse Blaire with Ocala Fire Rescue.
At each class, they will have a drawing to win a children's swimming lesson package.
There are about 30 swimming lesson packages to give away.
Visit the following websites for more information on where the classes will be held or for swimming lessons:
- Free Swimming Lessons Offered to Residents
- Water Safety Campaign
- Gainesville Makes Big Splash in Record-Breaking Swimming Lesson
- Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign Struggling in Marion County
- Water Problems in Marion County
- Marion County Water Problems
- Free Swine Flu Vaccines in Marion County
- Marion County To Offer Free H1N1 Vaccines to Residents
- Free Cruise to a lucky Marion County Caregiver
- Free Back-to- School Shots in Marion County