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The School of Yaya’s Fishes saving a life one stroke at a time

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 6:33 PM CST
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LAKE CITY, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas ranks seventh in the United States in drowning-related deaths among children, that is a stat that the staff at Yaya’s School of Fishes is trying to change.

Their program teaches infants safe swimming techniques to help prevent drowning. They instill a type of muscle memory, where every time an infant hits the water, they turn over to their back where they can float and wait for assistance.

It is a program that their owner and founder, Terri Mommsen, says is vital because you never know when something could happen.

“I imagined drowning as splashing and thrashing around in the water and screaming for help,” said Mommsen. “In reality, the sound of drowning is just a kerplunk and then they are gone.”

According to the Safe Swim Foundation, drowning is the number one cause of accidental deaths in children ages one to four. One of the trainers with Yaya’s, Madeline Chandler, says that is why these are necessary skills.

“You’re not always going to be there to save your child,” said Chandler. “You want to know that they have the skills to save themselves if they get in a situation like that.”

Chandler said that the lessons are amazing for children because it gives them a sense of belief and pride and helps to get them out of their shell.

“It’s really awesome to see an anxious and shy child coming into this and grow so much confidence that they are swimming across the pool by themselves at the end of it,” said Chandler.

The group plans on expanding in the future by adding a retractable roof allowing them to provide both the children and parents with a dry, comfortable place to relax.

For more information on how to sign your child up, you can visit the group’s website or Facebook page and learn more about lessons and packages.

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