Free swim lessons aim to keep kids safe in water
Now that school is out, kids and parents are flocking to pools and beaches, but are parents taking the right precautions to keep their children safe in the water? Envious Swimming, a swimming school in Warwick, will give free swim lessons and tips on pool safety this Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. at the McDermott Pool at 975 Sandy Lane.
Marshall Muir, owner and operator of Envious Swimming, hopes the event will spread awareness about swimming and pool safety. Muir, born in Australia, attended Florida Atlantic University where he was on the swim team for two years. In May of 2007, Muir founded Envious Swimming in an attempt to bring the sport of swimming and proper swimming technique and safety to the U.S.
“Every summer you hear about drownings and accidental drownings” said Muir, who wants to change how parents approach swimming safety in the area.
“Kids aren’t swimming long enough,” he said, and it makes them less comfortable in the water. On Saturday, Muir will have safe tips for families with pools, kid-friendly informational handouts for parents and a Q&A session.
This will be the third annual safety day Muir has put on. It will last two hours, and Muir’s staff (volunteering for the day) will take groups for free swim lessons. There will also be free pool entry, free BBQ, inflatable bounce houses and appearances by the Warwick fire and police departments.
The first 30 kids and their families will receive a free child-sized life vest, compliments of the Coleman Company. The vest is the only of its type Muir will endorse. Muir feels comfortable giving out the vests, he said, because its design not only keeps a child from sinking, but from rolling face first into the water.
Muir takes pool safety seriously, and emphasizes how an event like this can build awareness about simple steps families can take to prevent swimming-related injuries.
“There is a mentality to learn to swim at the ‘Y,’” Muir says, “but we are the only full-time swim school in the state … that’s all we do!”
He and his staff have adopted methods from Australia that teach swim safety early and often. Along with offering yearlong lessons, Muir offers classes for all ages (6 months to adult), and promotes “Kids Alive, Do Five,” five easy steps for basic pool safety. “Fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim –it’s great, supervise – watch your mate, learn how to resuscitate.”
On Sept. 1, Muir begins classes at a second location at Bryant University.