Swim Float Survive℠ is dedicated to teaching children the survival swimming skills needed to enjoy the water safely. Please take a few minutes to hear from a few of our parents who have shared their children’s real-life aquatic survival success stories. These survival stories show just how the Swim Float Survive swimming lessons have proved to be the difference between triumph and tragedy. Please visit our Swim Float Survive page to learn more about the Swim Float Survive℠ program.
Best thing I have ever done was to put both my toddlers through the program. They are both so confident in the water now and best of all I feel relaxed and at ease when I see them playing in the pool because I know what they are capable of – they can swim and float to survive in water. They love their swimming and are now able to take their swimming to the next level. Thank you Stacy for all your patience and time.
ABC Swim School in Naples The little boy was about 18 months old at the time. This happened less than a month after he completed his training.
I wanted to send you a note of thanks, and tell you that your lessons may have saved little Blaise sooner than I would ever have imagined. Last night we were entertaining some friends after dinner, and we were all standing out on the patio near the pool. There were a bunch of bigger kids jumping in and out, and the little ones including Blaise were just toddling around near the pool. I had no intention of taking Blaise into the pool: it was close to his bedtime and he was actually still in his diaper and clothes. He was just watching the fun, and I was watching him. Or so I thought. Somehow he slipped in and I didn’t notice. I’m not sure how or when, because although I was standing just a couple of feet from the pool, and I THOUGHT I was watching him carefully, I clearly took my eyes off of him and didn’t look back soon enough. It was just like every horrible news story I’ve ever read about this: I was right there, but he went in and I had no idea.
At some point it occurred to me that I hadn’t looked at him for a few minutes. I have no idea why it suddenly occurred to me, but it wasn’t his voice because he didn’t make any sound, or at least none that I could hear over the noise of the other kids playing. But anyway I turned and looked for him but couldn’t find him by the edge. My heart sank. In a split second I put it together, that I had taken my eyes off him, that his survival skills still needed practice, that it’s not a fail safe. And then I spotted him, and there he was, like a dream, arms out straight, balanced, chest up high, floating on his back in the middle of the pool–perfectly fine. Annoyed, sputtering a bit, but totally fine.
I honestly do not know how long it had been … 1 minute or 3? I never saw him go in, I didn’t see him struggle to get to the surface. I don’t know what it looked like or how he managed it. I was standing right there, but took my eyes off him long enough for him to go in and under. I guess you can imagine how ridiculously and overwhelmingly happy I am that he had your lessons. And how grateful I am that little Blaise pulled it off … going from dry to wet, full diaper and clothes, righting himself, floating, and staying calm in the midst of a bunch of oblivious kids in the pool, waiting for me to find him.
Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for making these lessons available to us so close to home, and for teaching my baby (who cried the whole seven weeks!) how to keep calm, find the surface, float on his back, and wait for me.
I can’t begin to thank you enough. I know he is still a work in progress, but because of your dedication and patience, Eli will be able to enjoy a perfectly normal childhood. Last summer we had an inflatable pool with just a few inches of water. My other boys were having a blast but Eli could only go in if someone was standing behind him, holding his shoulders to keep him from getting his face wet. He still had several choking episodes. He does everything a typical 2 year old does-and more! His tube doesn’t hold him back at all, except when it came to water. He is different–disabled–in that sense. I had to be a mother who held her child back. tell him “No, you can’t do that because your different!” That is not how I want to raise my children, but I had no choice because it simply wasn’t safe for him. The control and skills you have taught Eli in these few weeks have literally changed our lives. I can’t wait to see how far he will go! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I would just like to extend a heart-felt thanks to all at the Avila Bay Club for opening up your doors to Steffi Saul-Ketzler and her Baby Seals Program. Our 19 month old boy Bodhi is just completing his 6 week program with Steffi. My wife, Stacey and I, are impressed and amazed at how far Bodhi has come. Our jaws drop and our hearts swell, as we see our little guy, all dressed up in his winter clothes, get dropped into the water. He goes down like a rock, but quickly and calmly wiggles his way back up to the top. He reaches for air with his little mouth and rocks his back just right to get his body with all of his soggy clothes to float on the surface of the pool. Calmly, and with a little smile of satisfaction and pride, he floats on top of the water and breathes! When he is ready, or hears the cue, he quickly turns face down and swims to our hands, or to the stairs. If he can’t make it, he flips over onto his back, and calmly breathes until he is ready to swim again. I can’t tell you in words how it felt to see him do this several times last week, eventually working his way over to the stairs where he climbed out and gave me a great big hug!
It hasn’t always been so easy for us either, though. As many of you know, there is a fair amount of crying going on in addition to the smiles, laughs and hi-fives. As a dad, I can tell that Bodhi’s cries, and the cries of the children before and after him, are not cries of pain, nor cries of fear. For the most part, they are cries of discomfort. They are sometimes asked to do things they are not ready to do. Things that are challenging. It is the discomfort of being asked to do challenging things in an unfamiliar environment that are at the root of the crying. I think this is a normal reaction, and as a dad, an acceptable discomfort that is a small price to pay for learning such an important skill – and that is what is being done in the ABC pool. These infants and toddlers are learning a life – saving skill. They are not learning just to play in water. They are learning to survive.
Our family lives just a few blocks from the beach. Bodhi is at the beach, probably 4 or 5 times a week. His mom and I are avid surfers, so we are always drawn to water. We camp near creeks and lakes, and when we visit our family in Arizona, everyone has a pool. We feel so much safer now that we see what Bodhi and Steffi are accomplishing.
Drowning is the number one cause of death of children under 5 in our state (1). There is no doubt in my mind, that what Steffi and The Avila Bay Club are doing, is saving lives. Perhaps, even the life of our only son, Bodhi. So again, thank you Steffi. Thank you Avila Bay Club, and thank you members, for your life-saving support.
I just wanted to thank you for teaching Garrison infant survival skills.
On Sunday, I was inside making lunch for the family while Addie and Garrison were outside in the backyard playing with Justin. Justin noticed Garrison wasn’t within eyesight and rushed to the pool. He found him, calm and floating on his back, just like he was taught. We rushed to the emergency room, and other than being a little cold (the pool temp was 50 degrees), he was fine. He had no fluid in his lungs or belly and his oxygen levels were near perfect. The doctors were amazed and said he more than likely did exactly what he was taught- held his breath and got to his back. After a few hours we were cleared to go home.
Thank you for teaching both Adalyn and Garrison these life saving skills. I know had he not had his lessons this past summer, the outcome could have been very different.
We would love to continue our lessons starting in May or June, first thing in the morning again. Just let me know your availability.
Thank you again!
My daughter had a near drowning incident at age 3 and would not go near the water for a year. Leslie not only had her in the water on day one, but in under 6 weeks, she had her confidence up and she graduated loving the water again and now had the tools to prevent and protect herself from another incident. She is now on a swim team and is thriving in the pool. We absolutely LOVE KidSwimUSA and Ms. Leslie- she is patient, kind and passionate about this program and the kids participating. We recommend her to everyone we meet!
My 2 year old daughter had taken 6 lessons from Liz Walker’s IAS program when this accident occurred. My husband was power washing the car. Our daughter was outside with him. It had been raining and some construction was being done on the man holes on our street. When my husband turned off the power washer he could hear our daughter crying, but could not locate her. When he found her she was in a man hole in water holding on to the side with her head just above the water. I believe she is alive today because her instructor had been working on teaching her how to turn to hold on to the “wall”. She used the skills to find the wall and stay above the water until we could find her.
I just wanted to thank you for the marvelous program you run. I have been very impressed with the teaching methods you use, your willingness to work around crazy schedules and most of all with your talented instructors. I especially appreciate the great lessons my girls have had from Lance the last 2 times. The one today probably saved my 2 year old Annie’s life.
Annie is a very head strong and stubborn little girl ( I believe your analogy was to a horse that needed to be broken…). I was very impressed last week and again today with how Lance recognized not only her stubbornness but also her ability and strengths and used these traits to benefit her in her lessons. Instead of spending the lesson fighting with her he challenged her and kept her doing new things she had not done before. She was curious and worked harder than she ever has before. Today in the lesson he kept submerging her in the pool from different angles and having her find the edge of the pool. When she got disoriented and frustrated he calmly reassured her and made her continue to work rather than returning to her comfort zone at the pool steps as some of the other instructors have done, at Annie’s insistence. I recognized the progress she was making in her lessons today and thanked Lance. I had no idea that she would need these skills just a few hours later.
Our street is currently in the process of getting a new water main installed. The city came last week and connected each of the homes to the new line, and where there were problems left big holes with orange cones around them. Our water meter is in the lower end of our driveway and was left uncovered in a 5 foot deep hole. The crazy storms on Saturday have completely filled the hole with water, to the point that it just looks like a fun big puddle to splash in. Tonight my girls went outside with my husband while he washed the cars in the driveway. While he had the power washer going Annie either fell or jumped in. Thanks to the great lesson and practice she got from Lance today she was able to orient herself in the murky water and find the edge of the hole, holding on and treading water until my husband turned off the power washer and heard her screams. I don’t know that the outcome would have been the same a week or two ago.
A truly heartfelt thanks again to you and your wonderful staff, and my deepest gratitude to Lance for his timely lesson today. We appreciate your program and all your hard work.
We always make it a practice to close the pool cover immediately after we are finished swimming to protect our small twins. But one day last summer, when the twins were just 2 years old, I failed to close the cover and instead began working in the garden. A few minutes later, I heard one of the twins crying wildly. I looked over to see that he had fallen in the pool but had pulled himself out. Before having lessons in (your) program he would not have known what to do, and I could not have helped him because I never even heard him fall in…there was not even a splash. Because of the lessons, he knew to right himself in the water, open his eyes to find
the side of the pool, swim to it and pull himself out. It scared us both to death, but I was thrilled that he had developed the skills to save himself in an emergency.
At the Lake
In the still of the night at the end of the dock, a group of children gathered on a boat floating in dark water, to listen to ghost stories. My 4 year old son, A.J., wanted to join them. He approached the boat, not wearing a life jacket as were the other children who were already in the boat. A.J. stepped from the dock to join the other children, but missed the step and fell unnoticed into the dark water. He went down down down, eventually touching his toes on the bottom. All he could think of to do was make the “airplane arms” he had learned during his swimming lessons. By the time he surfaced he was too tired to swim, so he just “rested on the water” until his cries for help were heard by his cousin. His cousin successfully pushed A.J. toward the dock until he could reach a handhold and pull himself out.
When I learned what had happened at the lake, all I could feel was relief that A.J. possessed the skills necessary to survive in the water. Thank you for giving A.J. this gift of life.
Grandma’s Pool in the Autumn
My 2 year old daughter Sarah was playing around the pool at her grandma’s house. She fell backwards into the pool’s deep end. Her 13 year old uncle was panic-stricken. He didn’t know whether to run for help or try to jump in and save Sarah himself. While he yelled for me and decided what to do, Sarah flipped herself over, swam over to the side and pulled herself out. She was standing on the deck by the time I got to her. She was just fine, and she couldn’t understand what all the commotion was about. I was absolutely amazed.