Keeping Your Baby Safe in the Water

With summer around the corner, you may be planning your baby's first trip to the pool or beach. How can you help you your baby be comfortable — and safe — in the water? An infant swim instructor and experienced moms share their best tips.

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Episode Transcript

Natalie Gross 0:05
Summer is almost here and maybe you're heading to the beach on vacation or considering a pool pass for the family. And as a new parent, you're probably a little bit apprehensive about how your baby will do in the water, what kind of gear you need, or how to keep her safe. Today I'm talking with a survival swim lessons expert and experienced moms to get you all the information you need to feel comfortable in the water with your baby. This is Newbies.

Natalie Gross 0:35
Welcome to Newbies, listeners. Newbies is your online, on-the-go support group guiding new mothers through their baby's first year. I'm Natalie Gross. I have a four year old boy and a baby girl. And we've got a great show today talking about water safety for babies. But first, I want to tell you where you can find out more about Newbies, so head on over to If you haven't already, and there, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all of the episodes we release across all of our podcasts each week. We have lots of podcasts for different stages of the parenting journey. Another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button in your favorite podcast app. And if you're looking for a way to get even more involved with our show, maybe you want to come on as a guest. We have a membership club called Mighty Moms. It's totally free to join. That's where we chat more about the topics we're discussing here on the show. And you'll also learn about our recordings in advance so that maybe you can join us live to share your own motherhood experiences. Today on the podcast, I'll be joined by senior master swim instructor Heidi Burnett, who teaches infants important survival skills in the water. But first up, I'm talking with moms Christina Martin and Rachael Brown about their own experience. So mamas. Thank you so much for being here. And I'll let you introduce yourselves as we get started. Christina, do you want to start?

Christina Martin 2:11
Hi. Yes, thank you so much, Natalie for having me. My name is Christina Martin. I'm a mother to four rambunctious, fun loving, adventurous, strong willed children. With summer approaching, I love that you are getting into water safety. And this is really important to our family because my first child Gunner Martin, he drowned in 2016. And we are a family of a drowning victim. And so we are definitely advocates for this. And we see so much value in sharing this with other moms. I'm currently a legal assistant. So I work from home. And we live in Orlando, Florida and love it here.

Natalie Gross 2:52
Thank you so much, Christina, for being here and being willing to share your story. Thank you. Rachael, what about you?

Rachael Brown 2:58
Hi, everyone, Natalie, thanks for having me back. I'm Rachael Brown. Myself, my partner and my son Luca live just outside of Washington, DC in Springfield, Virginia. My son is just over a year old. And we are super excited to talk about our swim journey that we started when he was three months old.

Natalie Gross 3:17
Awesome. So what did that look like for you what has been your experience as both of you with swim lessons and infants?

Rachael Brown 3:24
So I wanted Luca to be comfortable in the water. I grew up in Florida and northern Florida and I loved being in the water. So I wanted to make sure that he had the opportunity to have that experience as well. There's a swim school very close to me that has Mommy and Me or Daddy and Me lessons. And they are 30 minutes once a week. And they start at three months old. So I took him the day he turned three months old. And so we've been going about 10 or 11 months, and he is so excited every time he sees the pool. He's very excited to get in. He's excited the entire time through class. And I just think it's been a really great experience for him.

Christina Martin 4:04
Yearh, so we've had a few different experiences with swim lessons with having all four kids and all four of them have gone through different swim programs. With Gunner, my first we introduced him to swim lessons actually, we found a swim program at the gym. And it was really convenient for us. So we went ahead and did that we had a pool at the time. And so I would take him to swim lessons. It was twice a week for 30 minutes and then you know, take him to the childcare and go to the gym and it just worked out for my schedule. He was enrolled in swim lessons for one and a half months and then that's when he experienced the drowning shortly after. So we after that I did a lot of research on different types of swim lessons and I and what would be best for you know our kids younger and getting them in the water sooner and developing those skills much quicker. So with my two daughters Who are two and four years younger than my son when they were two and like six months, we got them involved into survival swim lessons. And unfortunately, with that, we would like having a cold pool and stuff, it ended up not working out for them to develop those skills right when we need it. And so we had to push back until after the season because our pool was not heated. And then we COVID happened. So we got them into another program, which was thankfully they were a little older. So they did learn to swim through that program. But with our youngest son, Lion, we actually enrolled him into survival swim lessons when he was one. And he gained all of the full skills through the program, where he was able to learn to swim and float and swim. And then we just finished his refresher. Actually, we have this is our last week, which we're really excited. But we're finishing his refresher again, because he's humongous and had a huge growth spurt. So he had to adjust his weight and his body size and his float and working with wonderful instructors, actually with with Heidi, she was helping, you know, train him. But we now feel so confident in him being able to have those necessary skills in the water. But he also sees it as so much fun. He started out screaming every single lesson. And I was telling them, I was like, I kind of want him to scream again. But he just like plays and has fun. And he absolutely adores it and has the best time. And he also has developed those necessary skills that he needs, that if he were to fall into the water, we would feel, you know, confident that he would be able to self rescue himself and you know, float and then get back to a safe area.

Natalie Gross 6:40
Okay, and I know we're definitely going to hear more about this from Heidi in a little bit. But what are those swim lessons look like for you? I mean, Rachael, I know you do them mommy and me. What kinds of skills is Luca learning there that will help you know kind of translate?

Rachael Brown 6:55
Sure. So I actually do want to get him in into the infant swim rescue courses. I just, I feel like he can't follow the instructions quite yet. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I could get him an ISR. That's something I'm excited to hear Heidi talk about. But for our current swim lessons, it's me holding him the entire time. And he does learn breath control. I was extremely nervous the first time they were like, Okay, we're gonna do dolphin dives with them. And I was like, I can't hold my breath underwater. Like how is he doing five months old, but he is a champ. He never had a hiccup. He's also learning to kick on his back and on his front. And then we do a lot of in and out of the water we do floating and then they learn how to get out of the pool, and then get back into the pool on their own. And while I don't think they're necessarily life saving skills in this class, I think they are just good skills for him to be more comfortable in the water. But I am looking forward to doing ISR with him when he's ready.

Natalie Gross 7:57
Christina, what are your kids swim lessons look like, as you know, especially when you're talking about your youngest son and doing that?

Christina Martin 8:03
Yeah so like I mentioned previously, I've I feel like I've done every type of swim lesson like the mommy and me and the you know, survival swim. And then in the programs where it's, they teach the kids like stroke development stuff. So with our swim currently, right now, in the program that he's finishing, what they do is they slowly teach them to figure out how to like hold their breath, and breath control. And then they teach them how to find their air and roll over so that they can develop that float. And I honestly, it's really as a parent watching and I watched like a hawk because I just want to soak everything up. Because these are skills that I wished my oldest son, you know, who drowned in 2016 would have had, and he could have developed by the time you know that the incident happened, he could have had these skills easily. So I'm watching like a hawk and just soaking everything up. But it's really, it's more, I feel like, what is it like? It's psychology, almost like I feel like it's they're teaching the kid how to respond to different things before the child even knows how to. I mean, even before they can learn to walk and speak, and they're teaching the kids how to develop these necessary skills. So it's really hard to explain, I'm sure he will do a much better job of like, what's actually going on, but what I see is like different cues and things that they're showing my son and reinforcing him in different ways to allow him to develop the skills that they're intending for him to develop. And it's really gentle. I mean, there's a lot of crying for my son the mainly the crying was due to him wanting to be in control and the swim instructor having to take that which is necessary. And so he was crying because he didn't want to be told what to do. You know, that's my kids for you. That's all of my kids for you. Bye It's just a really fun process to watch. And it's about six to eight weeks, maybe a little longer from the time that they start until when they have all those necessary skills because we go every single day for 10 minutes. Like every week day.

Natalie Gross 10:15
Okay, great. Well, I'm excited to hear more about, you know, your kids swim lessons and all of that and talk to Heidi about the different types of swim lessons out there. So, thank you so much for sharing, we're going to take a quick break, and then I'll be chatting with our featured expert Heidi Burnett.

Natalie Gross 10:37
Our expert guest today is Heidi Burnett, she's coming to us from Florida, where she is the owner and operator of Swim Sprout. She began teaching swim lessons in 2001. And since that time, has taught more than 3,000 children throughout the United States. Heidi, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to Newbies.

Heidi Burnett 10:52
Thank you for having me. It's great to be here.

Natalie Gross 10:55
Absolutely. Well, what is an appropriate age to take your baby to the pool and let them start getting used to the water? I mean, I've heard all kinds of questions from new parents like is it okay to dunk them is, you know, the chlorine safer their skin, all those all these questions that we have, and as apprehensive new parents about you know that first time go to the pool or the beach? Or what that experience is going to be like, how can you? What can you tell us about that?

Heidi Burnett 11:19
I say at any age, they can be introduced to the water, just making sure that they are not submerged at a very young age, children that are age for months and under or before they are actually sitting assisted, are born with a Natural Swimming reflex. And we with the survival course that we teach, we don't take our students until they're actually sitting on the system to ensure that that Natural Swimming reflex that they're born with matures out so that we can ensure that they're learning through muscle memory and not the actual reflex. Oh, interesting. Okay, as far as if they should be exposed to the chlorine. I always defer to a pediatrician with regards to that just because some kiddos may have skin conditions eczema and whatnot, and they it might not be great for their skin at a young age. But there are definitely things that you can do to help prevent the absorption of chlorine on the skin if that is an issue.

Natalie Gross 12:29
So why are you an advocate for infant swim lessons and starting kids really in swim instruction when they're babies?

Heidi Burnett 12:36
Okay, so I'm gonna give you a little back history here. I was exposed to survival swimming when I was 15 years old, my twin cousins were enrolled in like in the 1980s. And so throughout several years, much of my teenage and young 20s Many of my cousins and relatives were enrolled in these types of swim lessons. So at 30, when I had my children, I enrolled them in the effort survival swim lessons with infant swimming resource, and they learned at 18 months to swim and float. And at the time, I really didn't pay attention to Job tie up childhood drowning, I was just intrigued with the psychology that surrounded the technique and the methodology, and what an actual 18 month old could do that was virtually nonverbal, through operant conditioning, and my deep love for water. I have lived in Florida for much of my my life and I was a swimmer in Junior High in high school, scuba diver. Water was where I wanted to be. And then I became obsessed with the drowning prevention, the more educated I became aware and the fatal drowning that fatal drownings were the leading cause of death for children, ages one to four and my girls were two so it really kind of struck a chord after I went through the training and became a certified instructor. Everything kind of started coming to fruition about drowning.

Natalie Gross 14:21
Well, we talked a little bit about the different types of classes out there. I mean, I took my son to Mommy and Me infant swimming lessons. We talked a little bit about that with Rachael. What can families expect with the type of lessons that you teach? Like say I brought my eight month old to you? She just turned eight months old today say brought her to you? What can I expect for that lesson?

Heidi Burnett 14:40
When they're eight months and they're not walking, and they're sitting on assisted we're actually teaching them to inhale prior to submersion. And if they were faced with an aquatic accident when their face physically touches the water, they are taught to roll back and float and get air immediately. So they're learning what we call a roll back and where we're teaching them to float independently for an indefinite period of time until help arrives.

Natalie Gross 15:05
Interesting. So how do you go about teaching that?

Heidi Burnett 15:08
operant conditioning or basically using the techniques that the trainer's at SeaWorld use to train orcas, that same techniques that dog trainers used to train dogs. And so it's basically stimulus response and reinforcer. And so we're using our cues in the beginning to shape skills, and then we're fading them. And we're allowing the environment to then become the cue. So how I'm going to explain that is that first, I basically give a baby a signal of that, that that they're about to go under. And just prior to them going under, I wait for an inhale because all babies need to be submerged. Inhale, they should not be taught to blow bubbles or exhale, because they're actually learning to deprive themselves of air. And so once I give that cue, they learn to go under. And then I want to make sure that they know to float. And so the water rising in itself becomes the cue in the environment that the kiddos learn to respond to. If they face the water alone. When they get on their backs, they are flooding. And they learn that when they exhale, the water comes close to their mouth. When the water comes close to their mouth. They know to inhale to make the water just sense so that they can lay there and breathe and have a true respiration meaning a true inhale and a true exhale.

Natalie Gross 16:35
Okay, interesting. Well say you don't have time or money for lessons, what are some ways that you can start teaching your baby these skills in the pool on your own?

Heidi Burnett 16:45
Because I know that the environment can be a stimulus or response and a reinforcer. I know that a child will eventually if they're not coerced, or encouraged to exhale and blow bubbles, just them being in the environment alone, they can learn so much on their own. I didn't go through these lessons when I was a child. And my dad basically just kind of chucked me in the water. And it was a flight or fight. Granted, I was only two at the time. But nobody taught me to inhale prior to summers. And I think that there's a lot of things that children will do naturally, if there's not a lot of interference with a parent. So to answer your question more directly, no floatation devices are allowing them to engage independently. And they will teach themselves over time, it will take a longer period of time. Because what we're teaching is a swim, a roll back, a float and a flip over. So most parents can probably independently teach a child to swim over time. And so I always tell parents, just don't put them in a flotation device and let them engage. Just let them be. And they will, they will figure things out, they will not figure out a rollback in a flow, a rollback. And the rollback is the life saving skill, it's not an instinct to go straight to their back. Unfortunately, that's why we have so many kiddos that drown because if they're taught to swim, and they're not taught when they need a breath of air, and a parent just pulls them out of the water, they are actually conditioned to get picked up. And if you study the choice, the psychology with a child at that age, where it's a rescuing stage of parenting, between like one and three years. So the most common thing that I get a no, I'm going off on a little bit of a tangent here, no, you're important to add is that when we'll get a call from a family, and they have a two year old who just wants to jump in the water, they have no skills. And they can jump in and barely swim and the parents catch them. But the parents don't want them to become fearful of swimming. So they're afraid to enroll them in our lessons. They won't enroll them that year. Next year they come they go in the water. And now the child is fearful at three and I always say it's the way that we start to change the way we parent on land. The kids realize that there's a consequence for things that they're doing on land. And that becomes the psychology behind why why children start to become fearful at three and four, and don't want to put their face in the water. Interesting, though, to go back to if they can't afford lessons. Another thing that I would like to say is there are lots of possibilities for programs out there that are offering scholarships in some areas. And me doing this for 23 years if I have a family who I know is assertive and wants wants lessons and they tell me they can't afford it. I will ask them how much they can afford. And they can be on a payment plan with me until they pay me off. And I have never been taken advantage of with that I had a family for four years that paid me $20 a month for an entire summer and through the winter months until they paid off their their lessons. So I think I want to say where there's a will there's a way.

Natalie Gross 20:20
Yeah, good point. Well, thank you so much for sharing this information. Heidi, we're going to take another quick break, and then bring back Christina and Rachel into the conversation. So stay tuned, everyone.

Natalie Gross 20:36
All right. Welcome back, Christina. And Rachel, any thoughts on what we've just heard from Heidi?

Rachael Brown 20:41
Heidi, I really liked how you described how to kind of teach them to inhale before they go under. That is something that they do in my mommy and me class. But, you know, it's not something that they consciously talked about why they do it, so it was really nice to hear the explanation behind it. We're actually have a family vacation plan to the beach this summer. And it will be my son's first time at the beach. I grew up with the beach, so I know to wear sunscreen. But what do you recommend for toddlers at the beach? I know there's been a lot lately about the color of swimsuits.

Heidi Burnett 21:13
Yes, that's a really good question. I say super bright colors. And with regards to the sunscreen, one of the big misconceptions that we get poolside, our parents will come poolside and they'll start spraying the sunblock on three minutes before we put them in water and sunscreen really needs to be absorbed for at least 45 minutes to an hour into the skin for it to be really effective. So bright colors. If you put them in a flotation device, it should be a life jacket, not a puddle jumper. So I'm not an I'm not absolutely anti a flotation device. But I do have my favorites. And obviously if you're in a boat, you have to have a flotation device. And the flotation devices that I'm an advocate for are the ones with no flap on the back of the head. So I would say me living in Florida, when my kids were little and they were going through these lessons, we voted on a lake. I'm an avid skier and a lifejacket put them in a light jacket. It doesn't mean that they're going to be face up, but they're going to be flooding on a surface. That's another misconception of a life jacket or a puddle jumper. Puddle jumpers restrict the arm movement and require the children to bicycle kick. And so neither one of those are functional for swimming behaviors. So I would say make sure that they're in a light jacket that hasn't crossed drop. Maybe I'm not supposed to say that you just drop that like, goes down through their crotch so that it doesn't slide up to their ears, and with no backslap light, super bright highlighter, yellow orange clothing and sunblock an hour before.

Rachael Brown 23:10
Thanks. I actually didn't know about the sunblock an hour before I've always just been like 10 minutes is fine, but I have very olive skin and my son has my partner's complexion. So you touch him and he has a red spot on. So an hour before it is.

Natalie Gross 23:26
Yeah, really good to know. My children are also very light skinned. As am I. Christina, any thoughts?

Christina Martin 23:34
Yeah, well, first of all, I also didn't know about the sunscreen. I am the one I get to the beach. And then we're like sunscreen umbrella. Let's get in the water. You know, let's go. So our drive to Coco is usually like 45 minutes. So next time we go is going to be before we get in the car to get those sunscreen SPF moving for us. But Heidi, I actually really well, I never knew about your introduction to like survival swim lessons, which I think is really neat that you were even able to see those lessons in the 80s because I didn't realize how long they have been, you know, going on and being practiced for kids and stuff or however you want to put it. Do you know when those started?

Heidi Burnett 24:17
Dr. Barnett was the founder of infant swimming resource. And I believe that they celebrated their 50th anniversary, maybe three or four years ago, maybe even longer now, you know, time kind of runs away from us. So he had been an advocate and he had been running his business for over 50 years.

Rachael Brown 24:38
That's incredible. I know when my brother was three or four so this is like 1981 ish. My mom took him to the YMCA for swim lessons and they just throw them in is not a great swimmer.

Christina Martin 24:52
I feel like that was what they did back in like the 90s Because I don't remember ever having swim lessons either but like we had a pool and you know No, it was a throw it in method. And you know, I feel like with that it's either kids are super afraid of the water and don't like to go into the water and they're afraid of it. Or you know, they learn to swim and then they don't even think about how to introduce swim lessons into their kids. Yeah, yeah.

Rachael Brown 25:16
So my that was kind of what it was for us. I think my mom didn't know what to do, she signed my brother up. And then when she had me, she didn't want the same experience. I never had swim lessons. I still love the water. However, she never taught me how to hold my breath underwater. So now I have this mental complex in my head that I freak out and my head gets under the water. So I think that us talking about this and getting our kiddos, you know, to a point where we're better than they're better than we are in the water is really important. Yeah, same because I'm not a competent swimmer at all. But I would love for my kids to be so yeah,

Christina Martin 25:50
Yeah, I can't even float. I try. But like, when I get my ears in the water, I don't know. It's a thing. Maybe from when I was young, I don't know. But all of my kids can float. Now my husband floats. And it's just me. So they make fun of older girls do five and seven. They're like, Mom, can you do this? Can you do this? And I'm like, you know, doing all the fun stuff. And they're like, can you do this? And they're like, floating. I'm like, Ah, I'm gonna try like, reach the kitchen cabinets. Yeah, doggy paddle, you know, drive. I mean, I didn't swim and do strokes. It's just stuff that I cannot. So I'm like, can you do this? And I'm like, treading water for like five minutes. And they're like, you know? Yeah, but

Rachael Brown 26:30
Heidi, do you ever have adults that come to you for swim lessons?

Heidi Burnett 26:33
Yes, yes. All the time. So hearing you guys say that just kind of makes me laugh. It makes me chuckle and nine times out of 10. The biggest issue and you guys are just confirming it for me with either the swim or the float is the issue with learning how to hold their breath. And a lot of a lot of people think that holding breath means to like, exhale. And if you if you just think about it, just for one second, and you think about like what we do to go under, we inhale press emergent and our lungs expand. And then our bodies become buoyant. They're, they're pulleys for us. But if you exhale, what do you do to get to the bottom of a pool, you exhale all of your air so you can go down and you're not buoyant anymore. And so I think the biggest pet peeve like I don't, I think is an absolute parent decision or parental decision, what type of lessons you enroll your children, and I don't take anything personal. This is my livelihood. This is what I want to do. People get to call me if they're interested. And people get to decide if I'm not a choice for them. And that's okay with me. But my biggest pet peeve is that our main call and was spoke of in our very initial call with a client inquiring is my child knows how to blow bubbles. And I'm like, and how is that effective for swimming and flooding and being buoyant on the surface, and they're like, I never thought about it before. So kids that blow bubbles in the bathtub, they're learning to exhale and depriving themselves of air. And when you feel deprived of air, when you exhale on land, you feel pressure in your chest. That's scary to me for a child that's doing that, because they're automatically feeling a deprivation of air and they're feeling pressure on their chest. And they're putting their face in the water. So and you both for swimming, Rachael and for Christina for floating, I know that when you float, you go and you hold your breath and you just don't breathe naturally. And so you're not getting the true respirations like lion gets now when he's on his back because he has the ability to screen and then he inhales to keep himself buoyant. He will only screen to a certain point. And then he knows he's gonna sink. The water level gets close to his mouth so he knows to inhale.

Christina Martin 28:50
Yeah, it really has been so incredible. Like just watching these lessons. Like it really is amazing. Like I still just it's hard to believe that a six month old, you know, or baby sitting unassisted can learn to float because it's just I mean, I can't even teach myself. I'm sure he can teach me but I'm a little scared. But it really is. It's just fascinating. It's so fascinating to watch.

Natalie Gross 29:13
Yeah. Well as we wrap here Are there any other things to note about water safety or any particular tips we haven't mentioned?

Christina Martin 29:20
I would love to share some water safety tips because after our son passed away, we did start a foundation in honor of him called the gunner Martin foundation and we do a lot of education for parents and for moms and caregivers babysitters, because we have done a lot of education on like how these drownings happen, and majority of the time they are during the non swim time. So when you're at the pool, you know parents know to watch their kids and to hold them and you can even assign a Water Watcher who is someone who just sits poolside and watches the water the entire time. However, most of the drownings occur or when you are not in the pool or even around the water. So for us, we laid our son down for a nap. And my husband and I watched a movie in our bedroom, which is right next to his and he found his way out to our backyard. And unfortunately, we didn't have the necessary things put in place that would allow him to not gain access to the pool. And so the keys to water safety that we share, the first one is going to be adult supervision. Obviously, you know, watching your kid is going to be the best way to make sure that they are unable to get into the water. However, as parents, and I'm sure you guys know, with having young kids and multiple children, you can't watch your child 100% of the time, you go to your car and grab groceries, you use the restroom, you go into the laundry room to grab laundry and you make dinner. And there's so many things that you do where you're not watching your children 100% of the time, because you set them up, they're safe, they're watching TV, or they're next to you. So in case there is a lapse in adult supervision, we recommend the next key number two is barriers. So there's different necessary barriers that you can put in place, the most obvious one is going to be a pool fence. In the state of Florida, there are five acceptable barriers that you can have around a new pool. So a pool fence, a pool net, which is like a net that goes over the pool, but it's a certain safety net with different requirements for weight, will alarm which will make a sound if there's a certain amount of disturbance in the water, then you can have a door alarm. And I'm sorry for door alarms, it's not just like the beep beep on the door, that's not going to be considered one of the safety barriers that are necessary for a pool, it needs to be an exit door alarm. So as long as that door is open, the alarm will sound. So think of this, like how loud a smoke detector is. That's how loud those door alarms are. As long as that door is open, the alarm will sound so that you would be notified, we had one of those little beep beep alarms on our door. And we didn't hear it. And we had the latch on the top. And we were out of our routine because we had my daughter Jada was five weeks old at the time. And so we were sleep deprived. And we just traveled and saw my husband's family. And we did a bunch of things like the week before, and we had just gotten back. So making sure that you have multiple barriers in place will allow extra layers of protection because kids can climb over pool fence fences, or maybe the door is left open. And you know, maybe there's just different scenarios that can happen. So we want to make sure that there's multiple layers of protection if you do have a pool, because we know kids are curious. And we know that if they will, at least my kids, if they find something that they want, like they will find a way to get it. And they are just so determined. And I love that about kids, but it's also a safety concern. So multiple barriers put in place. And then the next thing is going to be swim lessons. So swim lessons, this is going to be the only way that your child is able to save themselves if they do find yourself in the water. And you know, no one else is around. So survival swim lessons, I think are the best they can learn to float. And then finally CPR. So if you do ever find yourself in a situation or if you want to just make sure that you're always prepared, make sure that you go to a local I mean local hospitals have you know, free or low cost CPR classes. So do local fire stations and different city governments may offer it. But it's really good to go to a CPR class and learn that necessary skill. Because let's say worst case scenario, something happens, you're always able, that's the only chance that you have as a parent to help save your child's life. If a drowning occurs, and you do need to learn the rescue breaths because that that is so necessary with a drowning victim. And so those are our four keys to water safety. And then the last thing I want to add is, if your child ever goes missing, you know, as parents, we check their bedroom, we check the bathroom, we check you know all these different places. But if you are unable to locate your child, the absolute first place that you should ever check is going to be bodies of water. So if you have a pool in the backyard, check your pool. If your neighbors have pools, check your neighbors pools. If there's a lake or the ocean, or a stream or a canal down the street or behind you check the bodies of water first. Because a Drowning can happen in 30 seconds. And children will lose consciousness very quickly if they're unable to hold their breath, like what Heidi was talking about. And just it's so important to always just check those bodies of water first.

Natalie Gross 34:36
Those are really really fantastic tips. Christina, thank you so much. Heidi or Rachel, anything you want to add before we close?

Rachael Brown 34:43
Of everything that we talked about. I really appreciate that Christina just brought up CPR. I could probably be a whole nother topic for another podcast. But yeah, it's a just a good reminder that us as parents need to be prepared. And it's not just about so On Screen and floatation devices,

Natalie Gross 35:01
Yep. 100% All right, Heidi, do you want to close this?

Heidi Burnett 35:05
I want to just give you guys one more tip. And then yes, I will close this. Some of the most common issues that I see with kiddos when I first started their lessons is backup play. And then pretend swimming in a bathtub or in a Jacuzzi. And typically their head is above the water, their bellies are laying flat on the bathtub on the surface of the bathtub and the legs are up. So whenever they were to start swim lessons, that is going to be their first initial exposure to water into a child, water is water, the pool is one big bathtub, the bathtub is one big pool, one pool. And so my advice, my tip is to get your kiddos to sit upright in the bathtub at all times, they should never be trying to lay back to practice a float, they should never have the support of the bottom of the tub, either on the on their bottom, on their buttocks, or on their bellies. Because that is what they're going to take into a pool. And then the last thing that I want to bring up is trying not to refrain from not getting your child's face wet during bath time. Doing that eliminates their desire to want ever want water on their face. So the most common thing that we see with kiddos, like three and up, they've never been exposed, because they started at a young age not having their water on their face to wash their hair. And it usually comes from something that we call a mammalian diving reflex. And that is where like if you don't water over a baby's head in the bathtub, and you see them kind of gasping for air in their eyes get kind of bug eyed, I advise all of my clients to sweep their hand over the child's face, and it teaches the child to blink so the water goes out of their eyes immediately. Even if the mouth and the nose are exposed to air. If the child has one little drop of water in their eyes, they feel like they need to gasp for breath. And parents don't really think much of it because air on the air on the face on a child's face. Parents automatically think that they're always breathing. And they are not. That is a very, very big misconception. And it starts with the gasp of the breath and they're in the child's reaction. And if you just sweep your hand over the eyes, and they learn to blink, it's gonna blink a water out of their eyes and they're going to breathe freely. And that's all I have for today. Guys.

Natalie Gross 37:38
That's such great advice from all of you today. Thank you so much. Thank you for being here and for joining me and sharing your experiences. And Christina, thank you so much for sharing your tips. You know, as a mother of a drowning victim it's going to be hard to talk about but I appreciate you being here. listeners. You can find out more about Heidi our expert at swim Also check out new mommy where we have all of our podcast episodes plus videos and more.

Natalie Gross 38:14
That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to newbies. Don't forget to check out our sister shows preggy pals for expecting parents parents savers for moms and dads with toddlers, the boob group for moms who get breast milk to their babies and twin talks for parents of multiples. Thanks for listening to newbies your go to source for new moms and new babies.

Disclaimer 38:38
This has been a new mommy media production information and material contained in this episode I presented for educational purposes only. Students and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of new mommy media and should not be considered facts will such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If your questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider

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