BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Parents are entering their children in swim classes for more than just the experience of knowing how to swim.

Being able to swim and knowing what to do an emergency ensures safety, according to swim instructor Rafael Cadena. 

“When the children can jump into the pool, roll over on the back, the third group you see, they are able to swim on the back position for at least 30 minutes. Very important,” Cadena said, “They know what to do in an emergency case.”

The Alabama Swim School teaches children how to swim as young as a year old.

Children at the swim class ranged from 12 months to 4 years old. Hillary Moore’s daughter is 4 and she says her daughter is just beginning.

“It’s important for safety, it’s important for confidence,” Moore said. “Just so she knows she that she can do it. She’s very strong-willed. She loves to swim and she loves the water and I want her to be able to do that without having to have flotation devices to help her.”

Floating on their backside, learning to close their mouths underwater, and becoming familiar around the pool are small but key details the children learn while at the swim classes. 

According to the CDC, drowning was the leading cause of injury or death for children between the ages of one and 4. 

“When your child knows how to swim at an early age, that’s all you need,” Cadena said. “Because the child will need to be able to survive.”