TAMPA (FOX 13) - Teaching kids to swim is one of the first things on every Florida parent's mind, and a woman teaching children to survive on their own, one stroke at a time is giving many moms and dads that piece of mind.
Kari Bahour is founder of Water Smart Tots - a volunteer group teaching children under 6-years-old how to swim. It's free for families who rely on public assistance.
Bahour has a personal connection to the fear of losing a child to drowning. Her now 19-year-old son almost died when he was an infant.
"He was found unconscious in a pool, face down in the water, and it was the scary experience of my life," she remembered. "If you don't have a pool, your neighbor has a pool, community has a pool, there [are] ponds and lakes."
Parent Sarah Bozzuto knows all to well. Her 3-year-old daughter, Shay loves the water.
"She would scare me all the time about just wanting to jump in," Bozzuto explained.
So she searched for water safety training, but couldn't find anything she could afford. Then she found Water Smart Tots.
The lessons are personal. All are one-on-one sessions, 10 minutes everyday for six weeks.
"In Water Tots, Children [learn] the life saving skills of how to hold your breath under water, roll on their back and float, rest and breathe," Bahour explained. "Every child deserves the opportunity to have the life-saving skills."
Bozzuto said she is so thankful for these valuable lessons, to protect the most precious person in her life.
"We just really appreciate Water Smart Tots and Ms. Kari, and everything they did for us," she said.