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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – School is nearly out for the summer in South Florida and that means more time at the beach and in the pool. But all that time in and around water leads to a higher risk of drowning for everyone, especially children.

Swimming safety is critical and so are swimming lessons.

Two-year-old Emily knows how to kick and hold her breath but most importantly she knows how to save her life.

“As a mom, there is nothing more important than believing you’ve done everything you can to protect your children,” explained Emily’s mother Candice Carricarte. That’s why Candice wasted no time enrolling her daughter in swimming lessons early on.

“On the first day she was very nervous, but since then, every morning she wants to go swimming. When we get here, she beats me to the pool. She is very confident now even after one week and a half,” said Candice.

That is Gerald Little’s goal, for every child to learn how to swim.

He’s a long time Miami-Dade firefighter who has seen too many accidental drownings first hand. Tragedies that could have been prevented. That’s why he made it his mission to raise awareness about the importance of learning how to swim. It’s something he has been doing for more than 20 years at Little Swimmers.

“Our teaching techniques it’s really important to get them from point A to point B. We accomplish that while having fun,” explained Little.

He also said the sooner kids learn how to swim the better.

“Even in bath time, it makes a world of difference working with kids as soon as possible,” said Little Swimmers co-owner Alvaro Nunez.

“As a mom, nothing is more important than safety, and her happiness comes second to her safety. Thank goodness learning how to swim has given her both,” said Candice.

Drowning is the leading cause of death among infants and small children in Florida and the second leading cause of death among children 14 and under in the United States. Broward and Miami-Dade Counties also top of the list for kids younger than four-years-old.

CLICK HERE for more drowning prevention links


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