Hi, I’m Alexis Schaefer instructor and owner of Firm Foundation Infant Aquatics, wife to Justin Schaefer for over a decade, mother to four tiny amazing humans, owner of too many animals, and gardening novice.
How did I go from a homestead mama to survival swim instructor? Let me explain.
Our journey to this business venture began in 2012 with the start of my career in paramedicine. It doesn’t take long in EMS to understand the importance of drowning prevention. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-15. Drowning does not happen like we think it does in movies where there is splashing and screaming. Drowning is a silent struggle where a child’s head may, at the most, bob at the surface level for about 30 seconds before slipping away. Sometimes I struggle to share these statistics and stories because I know they are heavy. This isn’t what we want to be thinking about regarding our children. We want to plan birthday parties and set up play dates and take a hundred pictures of them doing perfectly ordinary things that appear extraordinary to us because we love them so much. Unfortunately though, these are the facts and they are not talked about enough.
Marketing companies have convinced us that the solution to keeping our babies safe is to provide them with floaties. Children in floaties are taught a false sense of confidence in the water and retain incorrect and dangerous muscle memory. These flotation aids are not keeping our children safe they are only making it more likely for an accident to occur.
Just as we ensure our child’s safety in a vehicle with a proper car seat and restraints, or put a helmet on their heads before riding a bike, we should be teaching our children how to float before they get in the water.
My background in EMS gave me a passion for drowning prevention before I ever had children of my own. When the time did come and my oldest was 9 months old, I was able to put these passions into play by registering Lacey with Infant Aquatics. Watching her complete her first skills test was so amazing and reassuring for me. Was it a guarantee of her safety? No, but I knew that I had equipped her with the skills she would need to save herself in the water if need be. My passions for these lessons grew and as our family grew each child was introduced to survival swimming.
We moved to Valley Mills February of 2022 to be closer to family and I was eager to get my youngest into survival swim lessons that upcoming summer. With limited opportunity in Waco, that filled up prior to our arrival, I was left with a decision. I could load up these babies and drive hours away every summer for survival lessons; or help fill the gap and start training with Infant Aquatics to begin the work of equipping children myself.
So here we are! I am a homesteading homeschooling mother of 4 who wants to work to change the drowning statistics for our children. I have loved Infant Aquatics and the lessons they provide for over a decade and now I feel called to teach them and help bring awareness to our community.