Swimming lessons for children offered at Heskett

Infants can’t swim.

 However, children from six months to six years old are being taught basic floating and swimming skills at the Heskett Center swimming pool.

Tara Murphy — who is trained by Infant Swimming Resource — teaches the lessons Monday through Friday at the Heskett Center. Each lesson is 10 minutes long, and Murphy uses that time to equip the children with skills for self-rescue if they were to get into water too deep for them.

“Most kids are going to throw something into a lake or pool, walk in after it and it gets too deep, too quick,” Murphy said. “So we want to put them in every scenario possible.”

For the children who are unable to walk on their own yet, Murphy just works on helping them with floating. But for the kids who can walk, she teaches them to float and swim well enough to prepare them for three different situations.

The situations are related to the type of clothing that children might be wearing if they fell into water. First, they practice floating and swimming in a swimsuit. Then, the kids practice while wearing summer attire such as a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Later, they learn while wearing some winter gear, such as long pants and a coat.

 “It’s the last line of defense if a kid is near water,” Murphy said.

One-year-old Ian Osborn is one of Murphy’s students. His parents, Seth and Abby, watch their son’s progress carefully.

 “I mean, it’s only been three weeks, and we’ve already seen a big difference,” Seth Murphy said. “He can swim to me and float on his back. I mean, he still hates the pool, but he’s learning, y’know?”

Abby Murphy echoed her husband’s thoughts.

 “It’s definitely worth the money,” she said. “I think there’s always a fear of children falling into a pool, and they don’t know how to swim. It just takes a little off the mind knowing that they’ve been taught. And Tara’s so nice and so good with the kids.”

The lessons are available every week for a four-to six-week program. The cost for parents to register their child through ISR is $105, and there are weekly payments of $75 due to the instructor during the program. However, Murphy is giving a special price of $70 per week for families affiliated with Wichita State.