Lakeland child survives pool accident, now mom teaches safety cl - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland child survives pool accident, now mom teaches safety class

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Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety. Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety.
Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety. Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety.
Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety. Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety.
Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety. Veronica Kerst.almost lost her daughter in a pool accident. Now, she teaches kids & parents about pool safety.
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

A 3-year-old boy was fighting for his life at a local hospital on Monday evening, one day after he was found at the bottom of a Brooksville swimming pool.

Sadly, this was not the only pool tragedy over the weekend. Three Bay-area children died in two other pool accidents.

A Lakeland mother, who knows the horror of discovering a child nearly drowning, is trying to save toddlers and parents from these nightmares.

What happened ten years ago will forever stay fresh in the mind of Veronica Kerst.

“She got through our baby barrier gate and a door,” Kerst says of the incident that nearly claimed her daughter’s life.

Her 21-month-old daughter had found her way to the pool and wasn't breathing when she was pulled from the water.

Kerst immediately performed CPR which rescue workers say saved her daughter’s life.

“As a mom that's not how I felt,” Kerst said.

Veronica vowed on that ambulance ride to do what she could to make sure more parents don't experience the kind of agony that can be avoided.

“You put a child in a car-seat and you buckle them up to keep them safe. You teach them self-rescue skills to keep them safe,” Kerst said. These are things you can prevent. And had I known about it I would have . But I had to find out the hard way,” she added.

In weekly, 10-minute lessons, Kerst works with babies as young as six months through a program called Infant Swimming Resource that teaches them what to do when they hit the water.

“They would roll over and float and cry until somebody got there,” Kerst said of the skills she teaches.

At the end of the program the children wear either pajamas or full winter clothing- because that's how these accidents often occur.

Erin Brown signed up for the program because she doesn't want to take a chance.

“He’s at the adventurous age where he gets away from me before I know he is gone,” Brown said.

At more than $600 for six weeks of lessons, Kerst, who rents a pool and has insurance, admits the biggest complaint is the cost.

But Takako Komatsu, who said her son learned to swim before he could walk, believes that for Florida babies, it's essential.

“There's water everywhere” Komatsu said.

“And, even if we keep our home safe we don't know where we're going to be. And it's not like we can watch them all the time.”

To learn more about Veronica Kerst's classes visit: http://www.kerstswim4life.com/

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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