Tiny Bubbles teaching toddlers life saving techniques - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tiny Bubbles teaching toddlers life saving techniques

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July 19, 2007

Valdosta - Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death among children ages one to four.  A Valdosta woman is trying to do something about it by teaches toddlers techniques that could save their lives.

Like Nate Slaughter.  He's only 17 months old, but he's already given his parents a scare.  "My brother-in-law has a pool, and at one time he got in the pool with my husband, they fell off the step, and he didn't know how to swim, and I panicked," Nate's mother Kerri says.

The Slaughters enrolled Nate at Tiny Bubbles, a survival swimming program for kids ages six months to six years. "They are taught to kick their toes and roll over on their back and float for three minutes," says Margaret Herman, owner and instructor at Tiny Bubbles.

Just five weeks into the program, Nate and his swimming buddy Marlee can fend for themselves if they are pushed under water, go in upside down, or fall off the pool's ledge.

Skills these parents say helps put them at ease.  "I feel he's more safe and secure. If he was to fall in, I don't think I'd be as concerned as I was before. I feel good knowing he can float," Slaughter says.

And skills that will continue to grow with each child who enters the program.  "Its more like Margie's built an instinct in them instead of teaching them something that's only going to last a month. She will know what to do forever," says Leslie Cowart, who's 17 month-old daughter is also enrolled in the program.

Herman agrees.  "This is the most gratifying job there is. You've taught a child a skill they'll have for a lifetime and potentially save a life."

So if Nate takes a fall again, the swim-float-swim survival technique taught at Tiny Bubbles could save his life and the lives of the other children who pass through the program.

The Tiny Bubbles program is taught in the Valdosta and Thomasville area April through September and will soon be taught year round.

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