Sara and Eric Dobey were happy spending a day at Lake Springfield at the Motor Boat club celebrating their 3-year old, Emmett’s birthday. It was a beautiful day so the kids were at the Motor Boat Cub’s beach playing in the sand and building sand castles. Some guests were leaving the party so Sara turned to her sister and said “Will you keep an eye on Emmett? I am going to say goodbye to some guests who are leaving.” Her sister agreed. Then she turned to Sara and said, “Where is Emmett?” They couldn’t find him! Panic set in. Suddenly they saw his head pop out of the water, but then back down. He needed help! Emmett did not require CPR, but the event definitely shook everyone up.
After this incident, Sara and Eric decided it was imperative they enroll both of their children in swim lessons. Elliott, 5 and Emmett, 3 started their first lessons in June of this year at the Kerasotes YMCA. Sara says “neither one of my boys have ever been big water kids, so it was never a priority. But now we realize the importance of this life skill.” She admits she was nervous about the boys starting lessons. She was particularly concerned how Emmett would react to water after the incident. The boys took a group lesson with Tess as the instructor. Sara says “Tess and her helper were great. Emmett was crying, and Tess kept re-directing him.” By the end of that lesson, Emmett was brave enough to stick his toes in the water. By the end of the second lesson, Emmett got in the water and by the end of the third lesson, Emmett was jumping in the pool (being caught by Tess). At his most recent lesson, he was kicking his feet, and laying on his stomach and back. Sara says both boys love the lessons and she can’t wait to get them signed up for the next session. As many parents do, Sara asked Elliott what he wanted to be when he grows up and he proudly answered, “A lifeguard.”
According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. There are an estimated 360,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide. Drowning can be 100% prevented and water safety and swim lessons are ways to prevent a tragedy from happening to your loved ones. To learn more about water safety and swim lessons at the YMCA of Springfield, go to www.springfieldymca.org/aquatics/