‘The water is very dangerous and unforgiving’: survival swim lessons are saving lives in the Triad

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A $70,000 grant is helping Safe Swim NC teach survival swim lessons to kids in the Triad. 

Leslie Durm’s youngest son was one of dozens of kids to graduate the six-week program that started in October. 

Advocates of the Infant Swimming Resource’s Self Rescue program believe ten minutes a day can save a child’s life. 

Durm and her husband learned that lesson the hard way when one of their daughters slipped underwater in the pool. They were only feet away. 

“It doesn’t take somebody not paying attention. Don’t judge people,. The water is very dangerous and unforgiving…get them trained,” Leslie said. 

So to prevent her kids from drowning, she got them back in the water.

All four kids, ages six and under, have now completed ISR Self-Rescue survival swimming lessons. 

“I know that feeling of…them not floating, them not being able to cry. You know them being under the water and not being able to hear anything. I know that feeling,” Leslie said 

ISR focuses on teaching children to roll onto their back to float and rest and breathe, fully clothed. 

The six-week program is 10 minutes a day, five days a week. 

On Friday, the Durms watched their youngest son master those lifesaving skills. 

“It’s very hard to watch because that is your child, and you’re sitting here letting them do this to your child. It is teaching them. And believe me, after that first week or 10 days, it is amazing, the change,” Tommy said.

Leslie says she still gets emotional watching her kids flip and float in the pool, but it makes all the difference knowing they can potentially save themselves. 

“It’s just so amazing to see them be able to save themselves and for ISR to teach my kids a skill that will literally save their life. You don’t get that a lot of times,” Leslie said. 

Safe Swim NC will post the link for registration for all 2021 sessions next Wednesday. 

The first six-week swim session of the year starts Jan. 18. 

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