TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - After Olympic athletes Morgan and Bode Miller lost their infant daughter in a drowning accident last year, they posted an Instagram video of their 6-month-old son learning to swim.
It’s an important reminder for families in Florida since the state leads the country in unintentional drownings for children one to four years old, according to the Florida Department of Health.
At Seal Swim School in Hillsborough County, children are immersed in swimming, learning skills that can save their life.
“Summer is coming and now he just wants to jump into the pool, so to avoid all the sad stories I decided to bring him here,” said Rosaura Du Toit, whose 5-year-old son takes lessons.
Those concerns fueled Wayne Kruger to start his son 5-year-old Malcolm swimming at three months old.
“Just being in Florida, there's a lot of access to pools, beaches, lakes. We just wanted to make sure he could swim from a very early age and have that down,” said Kruger.
Seal Swim School’s Micha Seal said Hillsborough County led the state last year when it came to young kids drowning.
“The drowning rate can be prevented,” said Seal, who is the chief operating officer at the school.
As a swim instructor passionate about water safety, Seal said there are simple things every parent can do to protect their child.
“If you do all those things, supervision, barriers, first aid and CPR, and constant consistent swimming lessons, that's going to help your child survive,” said Seal.
Those are lessons parents at the school are soaking up.
“As a parent, this is a tool to bring in and make him be safe and have fun at the same time. It's a win-win,” said Du Toit.
Parents said they learned never to assume that someone else is watching their child in the water.
The Seal Swim School offers free lessons for infants and parents, and YMCA Tampa will announce free swimming lessons this summer.