May 23, 2013 7:22 PM by Akeam Ashford
According to The Centers for Disease Control, about ten people drown in the United States every day. Of those drownings, two are children four-years-old or younger. St. Martin Parish officials are trying to avoid those numbers with the "Every Child's a Swimmer" program. This year, the Kiwanis Swimming Club has footed the bill, paying for bus transportation.
Kiwanis member Edna Landry teaches students how to become comfortable with water. In the last week of school for one hour a day, all kindergarten students in St. Martinville will receive 1-on-1 training. "Even a child who's afraid, who's never been in the water with a life-jacket they'll panic when they hit the water," says Landry.
Lifeguards first teach students how to blow bubbles out their nose. Life-guard manager Emily Broussard says their percentage of surviving increases if they can calm themselves down and breath. "There are chances when they could even drown in the bathtub, and they don't know how to swim," says Broussard. Instructors use life-jackets and arm floats to help students adjust to being in water.
Administrators say the hardest part is not teaching students how to swim, but getting parents to let their students take the class. They say the parents are sometimes more fearful of water than their kids, which leads to them never learning how to swim.