With all the excitement surrounding Memorial Day weekend with friends and family gathering to celebrate for pool parties, barbecues, etc., we must remember to keep safe and prevent injury, especially drownings. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools and in open water sites. Drownings usually occur quickly and silently in a blink of a moment when a caretaker takes their eyes off a child for only that one second.

Please remember some important layers of protection.

1. Supervision
2. Keep pool fences closed when the pool is not in use
3. Make sure the alarms on the door are working and you go directly to the pool if you hear the alarm go off and know that a door has been opened.
4. Make sure your child has swimming lessons and knows what to do in case the fall into a body of water.

5.Take CPR classes….We at Baby Otter Swim School know the importance of drowning prevention and the layers of protection. It is our mission to make sure that every child is safe in and around the pool. The holidays are upon us and the children are in the pool more then ever so please take this seriously.

Our private swimming classes are in full swing. Your child can be equipped with the proper technique to save themselves in just 5 days.  We have over 50 years combined experience in the field and have our state and national certification. Please call 888-SWIM-KID today to schedule the most important activity your child will ever be involved with.

Our group TKR classes are beginning June 14th due to the high request. We have two spots available for the morning class so if you are interested please contact the office for further information.

We are also beginning our competition class in June for those who are more advanced and need some healthy competition in addition to stroke and technique perfection. These classes are so popular and most important the children do amazing.  We have created some true Olympians from this class.

Have a Water Safe Weekend and remember “Your Child Otter Be Swimming®”

For more information please call 954-704-0080


Visit our website at



My first experience into the world of swimming pools and dangers was when my child was found at the bottom of the pool at 17 months old. I considered myself a very conciencous parent who always knew where my children were. While I was at the pool one day with my two children having a fun afternoon swimming with them I ended the day as any parent would have.

We got out of the pool together I put my son on the chair and put a towel around him. I turned to do the same thing to my daughter and she was missing. We ran around the pool and my son looked at me and said “mommy there she is” pointing to the bottom of the pool. Horror was not the word for my feelings. I jumped into the water pulled her out to find she was blue and there were no breath sounds.

Knowing one of the layers of protection CPR, I immediately did what I was trained to do and started my child breathing. Knowing the importance of swimming lessons I immediately enrolled her in the Turn, Kick Reach Swim Program designed by expert Marlene Bloom and found a new sense of peace with her amazing progress in the water knowing she could save herself  in the water.

At this point of my life I knew that my career path needed to change and I joined forces with Marlene and together we created Baby Otter Swim School, located in Plantation Florida.

We have over 50 years combined experience in teaching swimming lessons and drowning prevention. As other programs that were featured on the Today show were emphasizing a program for children to roll over and float our theory is for them to get out to the closest place they fell in. Children do not fall from the sky so getting to their closest location is a no brainer. Many top experts from the United States Swim School Association stressed to us aquatic members that during ths tsumami kids that could hold their breath were among the survivors.  Our schools program is state and nationally certified and our mission is to save one million children from drowning in the next ten years.  We start teaching children as soon as they start crawling. Our unique 5 day program is geared to all children and adults and we have a 100% success rate with special needs children.

As an expert I have five drowning prevention tips now that Memorial Day and swimming season is right around the corner. First is Supervision, second is swimming lessons, third is fences around the pool, fourth is taking CPR, and fifth is alarms on all doors that go out to the pool.  We have many more layers of protection that every parent and pool owner need to understand; so please preview our water safety DVD called :Is Your Child’s Life Worth Ten Minutes” at Please watch this DVD every day knowing that knowledge is power. These senseless drownings are preventable. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 ;in addition it is an epidemic that this country has not yet embraced.



When most parents say their child is too young to learn to swim, or won’t get their face wet; this young man started to learn to swim at 81/2 months old. Now at 20 months he is flying off the side of the pool at amazing heights with the knowledge to turn, kick, reach and swim back to the side. His teachers at the Baby Otter Swim School in Plantation Florida have over 50 years combined experience in making these children future olympians.  How many parents can say their young children can look so happy and confident going into the pool.  For more information on all of our programs from beginners to advance please call 1-888-SWIM-KID or 954-704-0080.  Our website



Drowning is the leading killer of children under the age of five, but you can prevent disaster from striking with private swimming classes taught by professional swimming instructors.

Once they’re educated with the proper training in a private setting, your baby will learn water survival techniques and build their swimming skills at an early age.

With essential swimming techniques instilled from instructor Mindy York and Marlene Bloom, your infants and toddlers will advance to become skilled swimmers as toddlers.

A perfect example is 18-month old, Jayden, pictured right. As a toddler, he’s already equipped with the turn,kick reach skills for survival, and he’s eagerly jumping into the water. Imagine how strong his swimming skills will be as he matures!

Your child can learn these same skills with kids swimming lessons from Baby Otter Swim School, which offers swimming lessons near Fort Lauderdale, in Davie,Florida. Call 888-SWIM-KID to enroll your kid today.

Important stats about kids water safety,from :

  • Each year there are about 3,000 emergency room-treated submersion injuries to children younger than five years old.
  • In addition, there have been 83 reported entrapment incidents reported to the CPSC from 1999 through 2008. Among these are eleven fatality reports, including the accident that ended Virginia Graeme Baker’s life in 2002.
  • CPSC staff began investigating reported incidents of pool/spa suction entrapment in the 1970s. Figures from 1999 through 2008 include:
  • 83 reported entrapments
  • 11 fatality reports (7 residential, 4 public)
  • 69 injury reports (38 residential, 21 public, 10 unknown location)
  • 3 no injury reports (residential)

For more information about child water safety, check out Ten Minutes for Life, a kids pool safety DVD produced by Baby Otter Swim School.



As temperatures rise and summer begins, more children will be around swimming pools, lakes and beaches. Tragically, many infants and young children aren’t prepared to survive if they fall into the water. Without personal swimming lessons, millions of kids risk their lives every time they’re in the backyard, with no layer of protection.

According to the national site for swim safety:

Each year, nearly 300 children under the age of five drown in residential and public pools and spas. Submersion incidents requiring emergency-room treatment or hospitalization number in the thousands and many victims experience permanent disability, including brain damage.

  • Each year there are about 3,000 emergency room-treated submersion injuries to children younger than five years old.
  • In addition, there have been 83 reported entrapment incidents reported to the CPSC from 1999 through 2008. Among these are eleven fatality reports, including the accident that ended Virginia Graeme Baker’s life in 2002.
  • CPSC staff began investigating reported incidents of pool/spa suction entrapment in the 1970s. Figures from 1999 through 2008 include:
  • 83 reported entrapments
  • 11 fatality reports (7 residential, 4 public)
  • 69 injury reports (38 residential, 21 public, 10 unknown location)
  • 3 no injury reports (residential)

Residents of South Florida have already heard the tragic stories about a one year old and two year old who drowned in backyard pools-Dave Jean Baptist of Miramar and Nabell Hamed, who was outside for only a few minutes before he fell into the pool. By the time his parents realized Nabell was outside, it was too late.

At Baby Otter Swim School in Plantation,Florida, certified swimming instructors: Mindy York and Marlene Bloom make a daily effort to put an end to the tragic stories of childhood drowning. At Baby Otter Swim School,  students receive professional and personal coaching by their highly trained staff  beginning with  the Turn,Kick Reach®  swimming method,  a five day private program of instruction. Turn,Kick Reach®  is a five consecutive day program taught to children, as young as ten months, what to do if they fell into the water. They learn to hold their breath and put their face in the water; swim to the steps and wall by kicking and MOST IMPORTANT, to turn around and swim back to where they fell into the water.

Your child’s safety is too precious to risk. To protect your child and prevent a family disaster, you must take a proactive approach to training your child. It’s never too early to start a swim safety course. To enroll your kids at Baby Otter Swim School, call 1-888-SWIM-KID.

For more information on pool safety, and stats on drownings, visit:




Chicago Cubs fans remember Andre Dawson ,”The Hawk”, for his passionate play on the field, but the hall of fame inductee is devoting his focus to a new passion: Swim safety for kids. Dawson is a recent graduate of Baby Otter Swim School and the national spokesperson for The Baby Otter Scholarship and Education Fund, which spreads awareness for the safety of children.

Dawson plans to host a swim safety clinic in August and he hopes to expand the Baby Otter Swim School’s presence across the nation. When Dawson heads to Cooperstown, New York for his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, he will bring along swim coaches Mindy York and Marlene Bloom.

“Throughout my career, I have tried to use my position to help as many people as possible,” Dawson said. “The Baby Otter Scholarship and Education Fund has given me a greater opportunity to help people, children in particular, more than any other charitable effort of which I have been involved.”



Mindy York’s outlook on child safety was drastically changed over 20 years ago, when she was at a  community pool. While she was tending to her oldest child, her younger daughter was sitting on a chair at the edge of the water.

Within seconds, Mindy’s daughter was in the fight for life, after she fell into the pool. If Mindy had acted only a few seconds later, her daughter might not have survived. As a result, she stresses water safety to every parent she meets, and she’s devoted her professional and personal life to teaching swimming lessons for children.

‘In that split second my daughter got off the chair and went into the pool–without a splash. I turned around in a panic because I couldn’t find her and my son told me she was at the bottom of the pool. I went in and immediately pulled her from the water. All I could think of at that moment was apply my knowledge of CPR immediately. I gave her CPR and she began breathing. This was the moment my life would change forever.”

Mindy’s life changed in more ways than she would ever imagine. Not only did she keep a closer eye on her kids and become much more cautious around the pool, she was inspired to change her career path to a field where she could devote her new-found passion for protecting children.

As a trained water survival and drowning prevention expert, drowning prevention expert Mindy York works along with fellow personal swim coach Marlene Bloom, teaches swimming lessons for toddlers, infants and anyone of any age who wants to learn how to swim. Their youth swimming programs include:

  • The Otter Baby Infant Program: An introduction to the water with a parent.
  • Turn, Kick Reach Swimming Academy (TKR): For ages 10 months and  up,  Turn, Kick, Reach is a five consecutive day program to train  children with the essential  survival skills  if they fell into the water. In Turn, Kick, Reach, the swimmers learn to hold their breath and put their face in the water; swim to the steps and wall by kicking and MOST IMPORTANT, to turn around and swim back to where they fell into the water. Mindy knows the value of those skills, especially after seeing her daughter survive the near tragedy.

“I went on a mission to make sure that what happened to me never happens to another parent. Our life time goal is to save one million children from drowning through education and teaching every child and adult to swim.”

Other programs at Baby Otter Swim School near Ft. Lauderdale include:

  • Beginning Strokes is a private class that introduces arm-strokes, the log roll, diving for toys, floating and swimming on their backs.
  • Ottercise Water Workout is for teens and older: An exercise program designed to maximize aerobic and stretching results while minimizing the stress impact. The low impact routines are accompanied by music making it fun while you lose weight and get in shape.

Drownings are the leading cause of death for Children under five, which is why it’s also known as the Silent Killer. Here are some important pool safety tips for parents:

As Mindy found out, a child can fall into a body of water without a splash, and before anyone realizes that the child is even missing it is too late.


  1. Supervision is the number one layer of protection .
  2. Always know where you kids are at all times and if they go missing the first place to look is in the pool. Alarms on the door, very very important.
  3. Make sure that when a door that goes out to the back yard is opened a sound is made from your alarm system.
  4. If you do not have an alarm there are portable alarms that can be placed on a door and set to go off once the door is opened.
  5. Know how to turn your pool pump off if a child gets caught up in the suction part of the drain.

These are just some of the important layers of protection. Please understand that children are curious and the water is like a magnet. It attracts their attention so they feel they can jump in to have fun, or they fall in. Pool fences are vital as well. Their are many layers (precautions) that can be put into place to prevent these horrible tragedies.

Drowning Prevention Experts realize the importance of educating parents and pool owners on the Layers of Protection to stop drownings in and around the home. That’s why experts such as Marlene and Mindy put their extra effort and time into creating important videos, such as their kids water safety DVD, titled, “Ten Minutes for life”. You can learn more about the DVD and the Baby Otter Swim School by calling 1-888-SWIM-KID. (1-888-794-6543)



This past week in South Florida has been one of the worst we have seen for drownings. There were four drownings of which three were fatal. Those of us who spend our lives trying to prevent this find these incidents very difficult to understand. There are so many proper layers of protection to put into place and one of them is kids  swimming lessons.

We do not make up the statistics we just quote them and here is a very important one “Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under age 5 in Florida”. As a parent do you know the three top layers of protection in and around a pool? It is also important to know that it doesn’t’ matter if you have a pool or not because 33% drown in a neighbor or relatives pool; 77% were missing less than 5 minutes; 75% of victims are ages 12-25 months.

Knowledge is power.

We at Baby Otter Swim School have spent our lives trying to prevent these senseless drownings. We have over 50 years of combined experience with state and national certifications for our program. We also produced a water safety DVD on layers of protection that was endorsed by the Department of Health. We understand what it takes to prevent child drownings.

Please feel free to call our office at 954-704-0080 for more information. To order our DVD please go to:

Private swim classes and group swimming classes are scheduling now.



Parents praise the life-saving water safety lessons taught at Baby Otter Swim School.

gwyneth paltrow testimonial

Hello Miss Mindy (as you will forever be known to us)! How are you? I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for Apple. She has been swimming (almost) everyday since you saw her.

She has gotten tremendous confidence in the water. Now when we swim, she takes off on her own out of my arms and swims into her daddy’s. For days after the lessons ended, she would teach her duckies to swim during bath time. It was hilarious asking them to tell her “I can do it” and “ready, set, go!” It is quite a task to get her out of the pool now.

When we are on her way she says, “I’m going to do my work, and then we can play.” Our friends and family watch flabbergasted as they watch this little two year old swimming like a little fish. The best part is, I know that if she ever fell into a pool, she would know exactly how to save her life. How can you ever thank someone for teaching your child that skill? It is impossible. But we are so very grateful to you and Marlene. Thank you a million times over.
We hope that in the autumn we can bring you over to teach phase two.

Thank you again and lots of love to you and Marlene

Gwyneth (Paltrow)



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