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Michiana swim instructor aims to teach infants life-saving skills

A Michiana swim program is on a mission to save lives.

Little Fins Swim School isn’t your typical swim lesson. This program isn’t about introducing kids to the water. It’s about teaching babies and infants the skills needed to save their own lives during an accident.

Marci Harmon runs the program out of Mishawaka and says it’s one of only a few programs in Indiana.

Harmon brought this program to Michiana, after living in Florida and serving as the drowning prevention program coordinator for the health department.

Her program, which runs about five weeks, teaches children to roll from a face-down position, to a face-up independent back float. Harmon says this can buy time and save a life.

“If they were to fall in the water, they are confident in their skills enough to just roll over and calmly rest until someone comes to get them,” said Harmon.

It’s a skill that Megan Fitz is hoping to teach her 20-month-old son, Landon. A few months ago, she had a scare at their Granger home. 

“I left the room to go to the bathroom and he had unlocked the door and got himself outside with the dogs,” said Fitz. “Thankfully, my one dog stayed right next to him and was pushing him away from the pool.”

It was a scary moment that brought Fitz to Little Fins swim school. She wanted Landon to go through the survival swimming program.

“I don’t want anything to happen to him,” said Fitz. “I would rather him cry and be frustrated now than die if the worst case scenario happens.”

Fitz was warned from several friends that the program can be scary and intimidating for parents. However, Harmon says it’s important to understand that kids are not just dropped in the water with their clothes on at the beginning of class. She says that part happens at the end of the program, when she feels that kids have the skills they need to float unassisted.

If you’re interested in learning more about the program, visit the Little Fins website or email Marci at littlefins.swim@gmail.com .

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