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Local Swim Teacher Believes It’s Never Too Early To Learn

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Lisa_Sigell_08062010 Lisa Sigell
Lisa Sigell is a reporter for CBS 2 and KCAL 9 where she has worked...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — They may have to change that phrase about ducks taking to water.

To hear a local coach tell it, it’s babies who really take to getting into the swim of things.

CBS2 and KCAL9 Health Watch reporter Lisa Sigell met up with Emily Cohen, the coach known in some circles as “The Water Whisperer.”

Sigell watched as some of the coach’s tiniest students jumped in.

Leila Hart is just 13 months old, but already taking swim lessons.

Her mom Kerry didn’t learn to swim until she was 6 but wanted her own kids taught much earlier.

She tells Sigell, “When I brought my son for his lessons when he was 3, I saw Emily teaching the babies and I thought I  would never put an infant in the water but when you see them really get comfortable …go under…hold their breath…paddle go. Kind of shocking…its shocking…awesome. I knew it was something to do when I was pregnant.”

Not that Kerry wasn’t nervous to put Leila in the pool at first, but Cohen says this is the perfect time to introduce little ones to the water.

“If you start them early and you keep it up they can grow into water safety skills. They can be safer in the water at an earlier age which leads to more fun in the water. Who doesn’t want to play with their baby in the water?”

Thousands of babies and kids have been taught by Cohen and her team of trained instructors at the swim school she started seven years ago.

“If you start them as babies, and you keep it up then you never have to worry about them developing fear because it becomes second nature.”

Still, Cohen says lessons should not give any parent a false sense of security.

“You never leave a child alone under any circumstances. In fact no one should be alone in the water,” explains Cohen.

For more information about the Water Whisperer, click here.

For more information about the US Swim School Association, click on the following link.

For more about the American Academy of Pediatrics, click here.

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