EDISON - A swimming program is offering free swim classes for babies in an effort to better prepare them for the water.
NJ Swim’s “Water Babies Program” relies on an infant’s natural instincts to get them swimming. The program’s president says that there are many benefits to the program other than just learning how to swim.
Babies as young as 3 months old can participate in the classes, and they even will go under water.
"As they're in the womb their mammalian dive reflex is still active, so when we submerge a child they don't swallow water. They inherently will hold their breath and they will lose that if they don't practice it,” president Joe Oehme says.
Oehme adds that the earlier a baby goes into the water, the more comfortable they will be. He says that could save their lives.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.