It can happen so quickly and so quietly. Keely McCauslin was at the pool with her then three-year-old son Colin James -- when a little boy pushed him, and he went under.
“He fell off a step two times. So it was really important for us this summer. That was last summer. So it was really important for us this summer that we make sure he never falls off a step again,” said McCauslin.
She says it happened in just a matter of seconds. Now, after a few weeks of daily survival swim lessons through Infant Swimming Resource, she knows that wouldn't happen again.
“Now, we're throwing him, he can get into a float and stay there as long as he needs to and roll off and get to the stairs, or get to a person, or get to the ledge,” said McCauslin.
His instructor, Amy Kordula, has been teaching ISR for 15 years after her own daughter almost had an incident. But, she went through ISR training and knew how to save herself. Amy says your kids knowing how to swim in Florida is very important.
“Water doesn't go away in the winter. You still have your backyard pools, lakes, retention ponds is really big, the ocean,” said Kordula.
She teaches kids as young as 6 months old or when they can sit up on their own.
“Six months to 12-13 months, the babies are taught to just roll back to float. And, they'll float for as long as they have to for survival. Then 13-14 months and up to about five years of age, we teach a swim-float-swim sequence,” said Kordula.
That is what Colin James knows. Keely says she's seen a huge change in her son. He doesn't need to rely on floaties to keep him safe.
“If he's used to swimming with floaties, and he can jump in, and survive, what about the time he doesn't have his floaties on and he jumps in and he can't survive?” said McCauslin.
Here in Florida, pools are a huge part of summer living. The water is enticing and kids are drawn to it. Swimming is exhausting, especially for kids. That is why the lessons are short. Amy says they're only 10 minutes long, but they're every day for four to six weeks. And, as much as the survival swim lessons are for the kids, Keely says it's for the parents as well.
“You don't want to be stressed out at the pool. You want to be able to go to the pool with your kids and your friends and know that everybody is safe,” said McCauslin.
Keely says Colin James now has more confidence in and out of the water. It's not something he's afraid of, and she knows he'll be able to save himself if he was ever in a situation where he needed to again.