Hello!! My name is Lauren Rivera and I am the owner of Swim Safe Kidz Infant Aquatics ! I live in Rochester, IL with my husband and 3 young children and have been a stay at home mom since my oldest child was born in 2013. I love being home with them but I’m so excited to now also be a Certified Infant Aquatics Instructor!
I grew up in Freeburg, IL which is a small town just across the river from St. Louis. As a child I was always in the water. My parents had me in swim lessons from a young age, we were regulars at the community public pool, and I always loved waterparks! We also would go to lakes and rivers to swim and play and explore and I was always the daredevil child jumping off of cliffs into the water! As I’ve gotten older and had my own children I would say I still love water (no more cliff jumping though!) but I now view water in a much more cautious way.
I first heard about survival swim and float lessons in 2019 and at the time I had a 5.5 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old. I looked into the lessons but there was no one near us who gave the lessons so I enrolled my 5 year old in normal swim lessons for that summer which were twice a week. They were group lessons and she did not learn much at all besides being more comfortable with her face in the water. I did what many parents do which was to stick my kids in life vests and puddle jumpers thinking I was keeping them safe but not realizing that was actually building bad habits and giving them a false sense of security in the water.
The next summer (2020) I had a 6.5 year old, 3 year old and 18 month old. I again looked into the survival swim lessons but saw that there still was no one near us offering the lessons. I was so disappointed that my kids didn't have the opportunity to take the survival swim lessons. It was then that I began thinking about becoming an instructor myself so that I could bring this life-saving opportunity to my own community. We were already planning to install a pool and I wanted my kids to be safe around our pool ASAP but I also knew this was the perfect time to take it one step further and become an instructor myself to help other families!
My whole family traveled to Decatur, TX in June and July of 2021 where I trained under Kim Emery for 6 weeks to become a Certified Infant Aquatics Instructor! What is wonderful is that my own kids were able to take the survival swim lessons I have always wanted them to take while I was learning how to be an instructor! I am so so excited that not only are my own kids now ready and equipped to safely enjoy the water- but now there is the opportunity for people in my community to benefit from survival swim lessons as well! The peace of mind I have knowing that my kids will have these survival swim skills when we are around water is priceless and I want other parents to have that same feeling.