Former Olympian teaching Nashville children life-saving skills in the water

Former Olympian teaching Nashville children life-saving skills in the water
Posted at 10:52 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 23:52:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Drownings are the no. 1 cause of accidental deaths in children ages 1 - 4, which is why at Safe Splash Swim School in Nashville little ones are learning life savings skills before they can even walk.

"Depending on what organization you look at- whether its the American Academy of Pediatrics or USA Swimming- the age continues to get younger and younger in terms of when children should be exposed to swim lessons," said owner Davis Tarwater. As a former Olympic swimmer, he knows a thing or two about pool safety.

A new father himself, Tarwater is sharing his passion with parents and little ones as young as six months old.

"It's early exposure to the water so you don't develop any aversions and a lot of basic safety skills beginning with floating and being able to walk on the side of the water, being able to get in and out of the water, foundations of kicking."

But children aren't the ones ones learning to swim here.

"I've personally been surprised by the amount of adult lessons that we've done on the learn to swim side and I just think that's great because it can be really intimidating," said Tarwater.

He also said having the right equipment like Coast Guard approved life jackets are crucial outside of swim lessons. "If you can blow it up with your mouth it's a toy, it's not a life-saving device."

In the end, he said repetition is key to making sure your kids can make a splash, safely.

"Kind of like speaking a language, if you don't touch it for six months you need to go review it," he said.