COOPER CITY (CBSMiami ) — With Memorial Day weekend in full swing, South Florida families are spending time at the pool but one swim school is reminding parents a day of fun can turn deadly for children.
It only takes a few moments for a child to drown.
One Broward County swim school is working with parents who experienced that tragedy to help other children stay safe in the water.
It’s the season for fun in the sun and the water, but parents know they have to be careful when kids are in the pool.
This year, twin toddlers died in a Deerfield Beach pool. Another set of twins were pulled from a pool in Sunrise.
To swimming instructor Jeff Gershe the stories are scary.
“First thing, I get chills as I think of a loss of life and a child. Then I think how can we prevent it because drowning is preventable,” said Gershe.
He runs Just Swim in Cooper City. The stories of drownings hit him hard.
“We have two families swimming with us now who have lost a child to drowning before they started with our program. They’re wonderful parents. Bad things happen to good people,” said Gershe.
After losing a child, those families wanted to make sure their other kids knew how to stay safe in the water.
One of those families is working with the swim school to help another child learn to swim. They’ve established a scholarship in the name of their daughter Soleila who drowned when she was 2-years old.
“I thought it was great that she wanted to do that and help other children in the memory of her daughter so that no other family has to go through the heartache she went through,” said Gershe.
He said teaching kids to swim at a young age is key to preventing drownings as are pool, fences, door alarms and constant supervision. He also said anyone watching a child at a pool should learn CPR and have a phone nearby to call 911.
“We can’t completely make them 100% safe around the pool but we can make them safer,” said Gershe.
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