Swim lessons suggested for the young

Liberty mom Laci Kurfman says she always keeps a constant eye on nine month-old Bailey.

Are you concerned about her in the water?

Kurfman said, "I do because she loves the water so much. I like to keep an, eye on her and keep a hold of her not only in the slip and slide, bath tub and baby pool because anywhere there is water there is a potential drowning hazard."

That watchful eye is warranted according to experts. They say inattention is the top cause of child drownings in the U.S.

It's also the most common problem lifeguards like Jenna Wells see at local pools, such as here at Indian Mounds.

Wells said, "To keep kids safe, keep an eye on them, make sure you know where they're comfortable and not comfortable and know their limits."

Wells also suggests strapping inner tubes and arm flotation devices onto small children who can't swim or who are learning to swim. Also, make sure children stay in shallow water. To make kids more comfortable and safe in the water, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest swimming lessons for children as young as one.

Shane Hibbard, Indian Mounds Pool Manager, says "The earlier they learn the easier it will be later in life for them to continue swimming. When younger brains tend to make more connections faster and easier so it's a basic skill too and anything do will help out later in life."

Swimming classes for little Bailey is an option Kurfman is looking into right now.

Kurfman said, "Not only so she knows how to swim, but the key is survival if something happens."

Even if Bailey learns to swim early on, Kurfman says nothing is a substitute for alert adult eyes in and around the water.

Many park districts like Quincy's offer swimming classes for children of all ages throughout the summer months. Children as young as one can take a water babies class to get them used to the water.

Click here for a link to the Quincy Park District for pool hours and classes: