Children get a life-saving lesson in the pool
The Safe and Healthy Children's Coalition launches a fall swim program
The Safe and Healthy Children's Coalition helps give children swimming lessons. Video by fox4now.comvideo
NAPLES, Fla. - Children can drown in a pool in a split second. It is the leading cause of death in children ages one to four.
Collier County leaders say even one death is too many so now children as young as 6 are getting in the water for lessons.
Suzanne Lester knows accidents can happen in just seconds. Her granddaughter, Zoey, almost died in a pool.
"I kept running towards the pool. Something told me to go to the pool and we found her at the bottom of the deep end. He jumped in and got her and started CPR," said Lester.
Zoey survived, but not every child is so lucky. Melissa Bailey is still living with the pain from losing a grandchild.
"He was 2. He got out. He learned how to open the door and we found him in the pool, hours later, at a neighbor's pool," said Bailey.
Last year, in Collier County 8 people died from drowning, most of them children.
"So many children do not survive and if they do they have brain damage so we were very fortunate our little Zoey made it," said Lester.
One group is working to make sure no child dies in the water. The Safe and Healthy Children's Coalition of Collier County launched its fall Swim Central program.
"The program teaches our 3 to 5 years old safety skills over a 2 week period," said Dr. Todd Vedder, Pediatrician and Chair of The Safe and Healthy Children's Coalition.
Other aquatic facilities in the area are getting kids in the water as young as 6 months. The county first launched Swim Central in March and so far this year there have not been any drowning deaths in Collier County.
"I am committed to having this pool and teaching people how to swim so we don't have the drownings we've had in the past" said Mayor John Sorey, City of Naples.
Swimming lessons took place at the River Park Community Center pool. The city recently paid to rennovate the pool. The pool opened about a month ago. An official grand opening will be held on Sept. 26th at 2:30pm.