Self Rescue Water Safety Programme for Babies
(Les Bèbès Amphibies Switzerland and Amphibies Babies Africa)
The Self-Rescue Water Safety Method that Lizette follows is a combination of the Les Bébés Amphibies International method and her own method developed over the past 30 years as a Baby Floating instructor. Lizette Botha (Head Coach and Co-owner) was taught the method between 1989 and 1991 by Debbie Vorster of Debbie Vorster Swim School. Her knowledge was further enhanced by Frenchman Jean Fouace (Founder of Les Bébés Amphibies International – Switzerland).
He is reckoned the “Father of the Self-Rescue Water Safety Method for Babies” which he already started developing in 1967. His book was translated into Afrikaans by Debbie Vorster and served as a prescribed book for the University of Pretoria (Institute of Sports Research) during the early 1980’s when he established various License Holders in SA. Jean regularly visited Lizette during the past decade. A strong bond was formed between them and together they founded Amphibies Babies Africa.
In very basic terms the method entails the teaching and stimulating of an infant to float independently on his/her back (fully clothed) for a certain period of time (15 minutes), giving such an infant a reasonable chance of survival when help is not immediately nearby or available. It is all about controlling their breath for short periods of time when submerging in water.
She teaches the infants on a one-on-one basis allowing the parent in the water with the infant, upon request.
In most instances the parents do not want to join the infant in the water and are allowed to observe the whole process from the side of the pool. The duration of the course is between three- and four months, depending on the frequency of class attendance.
The ability to float is a life skill that is entrenched in the infant’s development for life. They will never unlearn this skill and will always fall back onto this skill when needed in an emergency.