Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Woman to Woman: Life-Saving Swimming Skills For Children
More than 3-hundred children drown every year, many of them, right here, in South Florida. Tonight, a very special Woman To Woman...We're introducing you to two women whose goal is to save one million children from drowning... By teaching them some life-saving skills.
A Pompano Beach boy nearly drowns after falling into his backyard pool.
And a two year-old Miami boy found lifeless in his family's swimming pool.
All of these tragedies happening within days...
Tragedies that are all too common.
Parent Rae Hermosilla says, "I just turned away for a couple of seconds, and when I looked back, she wasn't there."
Parent Heidi Colston says, "She fell in, it was so silent and so quick."
Parent Donna Salzman says, "She was just laying their lifeless."
But for these families, fate would give them a second chance.
Their children alive today... Some thanks to these two women, Marlene Bloom and Mindy York, whose mission is to prevent children from drowning.
Mindy says, "There is no reason for these drownings to be happening. There is hope."
Marlene says, "It's a love affair, we fall in love with these children, they are incredible."
Marlene and Mindy run the Baby Otter Swim School at the NOVA Southeastern University pool in Davie.
In just five days, they guarantee to teach your child life-saving skills.
Marlene says, "A lot of tender loving care involved in it, and we understand their fears, and work with that aspect and it's one to one."
So how serious a problem do we have here in Florida?
Drowning is the leading cause of death for those under the age of five.
What this program is doing to fight this frightening statistic is teach these children, three very important words.
Victoria says, "Turn, kick, reach."
"Turn, kick, reach."
That's right, turn... kick... and reach to safety.
Marlene says, "That repetition reminds them. It's very important to have that follow through."
And parents say it works.
Rae Hermosillasays, "The gift is priceless, to know that your child knows how to get out of a pool if they fall in."
Heidi Colston says, "How do you thank someone for saving your child's life?"
Besides teaching your kids to swim, Marlene and Mindy urge parents to have several layers of protection.
Try a pool fence...
Alarms on the doors...
And even a pool alarm to warn you a child may be in the pool.
Also, make sure to take a CPR course.
And as always, prevention is key.
Mindy and Marlene know even that isn't failproof, so they'll continue their mission.
Mindy says, "Every Friday it's the greatest. I can't even express it enough, such a passion for what we do."
Marlene says, "To see them go from the first two days of being so frightened of the water and all of a sudden they say oh, I can do this, you know, it's incredible."
The classes cost $235 dollars.
But the non-profit group has also set up two scholarships for special needs and underprivileged children.
We also want to remind you that WSVN has teamed up with the Red Cross for their "Swim For Life" classes.
For more information on that or The Baby Otter Swim School check out the information and link below.
We're talking Woman To Woman....
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Baby Otter Swim School
At NOVA Southeastern University in Davie