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Teaching infants to float could be key to survival

Parents and their little ones take swim lessons at the Hubbard Family Swim School. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- The hot weather and the lure of a cool pool can lead to danger for many children, especially infants.

The owner of a Valley swim school said there are things parents can do to make sure infants can survive in the water.

At the Hubbard Family Swim School in Phoenix, parents can let their infants experience the water.

"When you're working with a child, one of the first things you want to do is ingrain the habit of, when they get in the water or fall in the water, to roll over," said owner Bob Hubbard. "Roll over and float on their back is one of the safest things they can do."

Another key is to teach the infant how to hold their breath.

"You can have a child jump in the water, and if their breath-holding is good and they're comfortable, they're going to float up," Hubbard said. "As long as they stay calm and they're not drinking the water or having spastic arm movements, they're going to be safer."

Of course, Hubbard thinks the thing to do is get kids swim lessons and spend time working with them in a swimming pool. He also said there are plenty of swim lesson videos on YouTube and the school's website can help parents.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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