Greater Sacramento Area

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Testimonials where children have fallen in and used survival float skill successfully

Last spring my son (then 11⁄2 years old) fell into the pool. Fortunately, we were right there, and even though it was just for seconds, the vision of him floating face down was devastating. We immediately enrolled him in survival floating classes. Twice, this summer, he fell in while we were all out by the pool. Both times he went under, flipped over to his back, and popped right up to the surface, relaxed and floating. Our daughter, then five, did a rescue jump into the water, grabbed Brian by the foot and pulled him to the side (something she learned in floating class). We’ve learned from personal experience, these classes are priceless!"

- Candy Burnstein

A Tragedy Averted…Well ladies, it was all worth it. Last weekend while attending a birthday party for my twelve-year old niece, Nicholas lost his balance while standing on the first step of the pool. He fell in and went under. The training worked, and Nick went "chin up" and floated to the surface without panicking. We fished him out of the pool, and praised him for remembering to “chin up” and float.

Nick will be 3 in September and has only practiced in the bathtub as we've moved from the house with a pool. We often tell him chin up, even if it's to tickle his neck, but it's a reminder of his time with Monica and learning to back float in the pool.

I tell every person with a small child about the "Wonders of Wallypogs" and that little bit of confidence it gives you that you might have a few extra seconds to avert a tragedy. Bless you both for the wonderful lessons you are teaching.

- Shelene A.

My husband and I have two little ones - Sam (6) and Alex (1.5). We met Deborah and Monica when Sam was barely one at a baby expo. Deborah was really persistent in calling me, following up on my interest in teaching my daughter to swim, because we had informed her we had a pool at our home. We finally signed her up and she began lessons for floating at 13 months. Samantha never really completely floated passively, but she was swimming independently (on her back) at the age of two! Samantha has continued with Wallypogs and now she is learning to dive, do the backstroke and the breaststroke.

Her baby brother was born in 2007. We started Alex in Wallypogs at the age of 7 months. We thought he wouldn't get too much out of it, but that the exposure to the water and the float would be good for when he was older. Alex had lessons throughout the summer, and stopped when he was 10 months due to the end of the swim season. By the end, he was able to float for a count of 10 on his own.

That following winter, at 14 months, Alex was outside playing with his sister and babysitter Cortnee. Cortnee said that she turned her back for a second to pick something up, and Alex had run towards the pool. Cortnee ran after him but not in enough time. Alex jumped right into the deep end of the cold water. As scary as this sounds, the most amazing part is that only after three months of Wallypogs, at such a young age, - Alex kicked his way to the top of the water and floated on his back until Cortnee could get him!!!!!

I cannot thank Deborah and Monica enough. Putting him in infant floating classes from such a young age most likely saved his life. I tell everyone I know that has a baby to sign-up. I know from personal experience that you can't put a price on your child's life. Every penny spent on those lessons have proven to be invaluable. Thank you both for saving our son.....

- Jackie Shandy-Pinto, M.A./BCBA

Director of Clinical Services

BEST Consulting, Inc.

During our family vacation in the Caribbean over Thanksgiving 2008, we saw how much the WallyPogs training influenced our son. My wife, son and I were vacationing at a beach off the coast of Nassau in the Bahamas. Our son Landen, who was 19 months at the time, was playing on the beach in the sand and the water. While he was playing in the water a wave came in and knocked him off his feet. He instinctively knew to roll over onto his back and start floating until my wife was able to grab him a few moments later. The training definitely has helped him and taught him not to panic when in the water.

- Craig Baum

II am so grateful to be able to write you this letter! A couple of weeks ago, Earnie, myself and Marqus (3 ½ yrs.) and Alacia (23 months) made an unexpected stop at a friends home. My friend’s mother (Grandma) wanted the 2 kids to see the new trampoline in the backyard and test it out. So we ventured into the backyard past a very inviting spa and pool.

They asked to play in the spa, but I opted against it until Grandma insisted! I informed her that since this was an unexpected visit, we had no bathing suits or towels. She replied “ Oh let them play while we talk... they’ll be fine!” So Marqus and Alacia entered the spa, fully dressed, except for their shoes. We sat no more than 3 to 4 feet away from them and talked. We turn the heat and the bubbles on for comfort. They were walking around the spa on the step and Alacia was holding her baby doll and having her baby float while she counted to 10. But, due to the bubbles, the doll was pushed to the middle of the spa. As she reached for it she stepped right off of the step! At that moment, Marqus grabbed onto the side of the spa and began yelling at me that Alacia fell into the water and he pointed to the exact spot! Before he could finish his sentence, up she popped on her back, face out of the water and she took a breath... again she was pulled under ! By this time I was up and out of my chair heading towards the water. Then she came again to the top and took another breath, closed her mouth, and was pulled under as I was stepping into the water. The third time she repeated her breath and back under again! By this time I was shoulder deep into the water, reached for her and pulled her out ! I couldn’t believe how many times she had been pulled under, by the force of the bubbles, in such a short time. I was so frightened but excited that she had utilized the training she received at Wallypogs! I couldn’t help but to think of the exercise you have named the Dipsey Doodle, which is designed to help the children learn to orient themselves to float to the top of the pool in case they end up head over heels. Needless to say I immediately took her out for thorough inspection and started to dry her off and told her that that was enough water for the day. She wasn’t even the slightest bit rattled and became quite upset when I told her they had to get out of the water for the rest of our visit. She replied that she wouldn’t take her baby in anymore, but that she wanted to go in... and if she slipped again she would just “floaty” until I got there. I was very impressed with her confidence in herself. I decided to let her back in on the condition that she float for a 10 count for me and then she could play. We turned the bubbles off and she entered the water and went straight to her back for a 10 count. I stood her on the step and she continued to play, unaffected by the incident, due to what I believe to be her confidence in herself and the survival skills that were instilled in her at Wallypogs! Words cannot express how grateful we all are for what you both have taught our children! I believe wholeheartedly that the survival skills that you teach to these children are invaluable and I am grateful from the bottom of my heart that I am able to write this letter instead of sending out bad news!

With Immeasurable Gratitude

- Earnie & Irene Brown

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