Olympic swimmer: Teaching toddlers to swim can save their lives

Teaching your toddlers basic swim skills can be a lifesaving decision. 

Olympic champion and local swim instructor Brooke Bennett said parents can start swim lessons with  children as young as the age of one.

"The American Pediatric Association says starting your children in lessons early can significantly reduce their risk of drowning," Bennett explained to FOX 13. 

Local instructors said young swimmers should work on their rolling and floating skills, that would kick into action if they fall in. 

"Kids don't fall in the middle of the pool," said Bennett. "They fall near the edge. Learning to float and roll increases their chance of grabbing the edge of the pool."

Bennett said crying during lessons is a normal response, but shouldn't be a reason for parents to cancel lessons. 

"I call it the 'mad cry,'" Bennet explained, "They're mad because they're working hard for the first time." 

Bennett runs the Brooke Bennett Swim Academy in St. Petersburg, offering swim lessons for all ages. 

LINK: For more information, head over to the academy's website