"Tina is not only an expert at infant swim instruction, but she truly cares about your child. She worked with my daughter who was not very fond of learning how to swim. Tina was patient, understanding and creative when it came to helping my daughter adapt to the water and learn this life saving skill. She did not consider her time when making sure my daughter was given the right level of attention and TLC through the lessons. She was helpful in educating us as parents throughout our daughter's learning process, and she was thoughtful about making the most of the lessons. Tina was truly a blessing to our family and I would recommend her to anyone considering teaching their baby/toddler how to swim."   Sommer Sherrod

"Dear Tina, Thank you so muh for the wonderful swim lessons for Liam and Madigan.  The skills and confidence they've gained are worth so much to us and we really appreciate your patience, attentiveness to their individual needs and your positive support!"

Chantal and Andrew

" Dear Tina, Just want to say thanks so much for teaching Owen to swim.   There are no words to express how much we appreciate what you have taught him.  Thanks for making my life a little less stressful when he is outdoors and around the pool.  The time and effort spent with us was so priceless and I don't think I could ever thank you enough.  Owen will miss seeing you everyday.  He's still asking if Miss Tina is coming to swim.  Thanks for your friendship too We are blessed to have you in our lives!"

                                            Cindy Hamilton

" Dear Miss Tina,

Thank you for all of your patience and kindness teaching Jonathan how to swim.  You made it a most enjoyable experience!"

                                  Sasha M

" Dear Tina, Thanks for your wonderful expertise Its a great feeling to see Zachary use the skills your've taught him.  See you next year with Ana! God Bless you!"  Gigi

"Thanks so much Tina for going above and beyond in teaching Noah how to swim.  You wil definitely be recommended to everyone we know! You're the deal!!!"             The Hunters

"Dear Tina, We can't begin to thank you enough for everything you have taught John.  It is truly amazing how far John has come in such a short period of time.  You are a treasure!"   Jeanne and Jake J.


I just wanted to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU!  You have been such a positive influence to my children both as their swim instructor and as a friend.  What a blessing it is to have you in our lives.  I appreciate your kindness in that saving a child's life is more important than a prompt payment, when I was going through financial trouble.  I want to commend you on your talent in dealing with children and swimming.  What a precious gift to have.  Your swim lessons, not only taught my children how to survive in the water, but to enjoy the water with confidence while having fun.  The confidence instilled in them in the last 5 weeks not only changed them in the pool, but in everyday life disposition ... AMAZING!  I love how you taught us, as parents, so much ... how to contain our emotions and support the techniques while the girls were in training.  Those techniques proved to be very valuable for me, that I now can reinforce the proper swimming techniques after swim lessons are complete. 

When we visit my parents place in Sarasota we swim in a community pool.  Our children are exposed to a wide variety of seasonal guests there and we are more often than not approached about how amazed people are on how my girls swim and handle themselves in the pool. 

Thank you for everything you have done for us, for being our swim instructor, coach and most of all, friend!  ​

​                                                                                                             Sandra and Rob Z.

Dear Tina,

Thanks for turning our little girl into a fish!!!!                                       All our love,

                                     Nicole and Jason R

Featured in the Orlando Sentinel
















Beth Kassab Local News Columnist

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Related Content Beth Kassab


My kids are starting to swim like fish.

Even my little guy, barely 3, is learning to float on his back, swim to the side of the pool and pull himself up.

I had no idea how relieved I would feel to say that.

The kind of relief that comes with counting 10 fingers and 10 toes. Or hearing "all's well" after spending a few hours at the after-hours pediatrician with an inferno of a fever.

Watching your kids learn to swim is big.

Nobody tells you that when you become a parent. But the first time your heart races at the "what-if" of your backyard pool or the pond down the street, you know.

Drowning is the No. 1 killer of young children in Florida. And Florida has the terrible distinction of leading the country in drowning deaths.

During the first six months of this year, 19 children drowned in 12 Central Florida counties. That's more than double the number during the same period last year.

These deaths cut across neighborhoods rich and poor. And drowning doesn't discriminate — it can happen to anyone.

Every time I read about one, I couldn't wait for my kids' swimming lessons to start this summer.

There are different methods, but I chose a survival swimming program that teaches swim-float-swim. Swim a few strokes, head under water, toward the side of the pool. Turn over and take a few breaths while resting in a back float. Then flip over and swim some more.

The swim-float-swim pattern can be repeated until a child reaches safety.

Younger children who aren't strong enough to swim or pull themselves out of the water can learn to float on their backs until help arrives. The key to all of this is teaching kids not to panic so that they can relax and breathe while floating.

"If they're crawling, if they're sitting up on their own, then they can manage a back-float in the water," my kids' swim instructor Tina Baron told me.

Swimming lessons are not like vaccines for measles or chicken pox.

Lessons don't inoculate your child from drowning.

There's no substitute for old-fashioned supervision around the water. And a good pool fence.

It only takes moments, if that, for a child to drown. And it happens silently — making it all the more worrisome for parents who think that surely they would notice if something were wrong.

"I was there ... I was that reactive parent," said Baron, who runs Little Otters Swim Academy.

When her daughter was just 16 months old, she was at a baby sitter's house and someone left a sliding-glass door open. The toddler wandered out and fell into the pool. The family's Labrador retriever saw it happen and barked until the baby sitter noticed. Her daughter was fine.

"But it changed my life," Baron said. A few years later she became a swim instructor.

A lot of parents might be turned off by the cost of lessons. Or the time commitment. Many programs cost hundreds of dollars and require kids to attend a 10- or 15-minute lesson four or five days a week for up to six weeks.

A lot of instructors are willing to give low-income families a break, and groups such as The Gift of Swimming in Orlando provide free lessons.

As for the time, it's worth the chaos that comes with squeezing in a lesson before work and summer camp each morning.

At the beginning of the summer, my daughter didn't want to be in the pool unless she was sitting in an inner tube.

Now she can swim by herself across the pool using swim-float-swim, which means she has a fighting chance if she ever fell into water without an adult nearby.


​ No child is ever DROWN Proofed by these or any lessons. Be sure to watch your children carefully around the water. Stay within an arm's length at all times. It only takes a few silent minutes for a child to slip away from you. They can be masters at getting through the many layers of protection of our pools or curious about inviting bodies of water and quickly become in danger!!!

 © 2008-2021 Little Otters Swim Academy/Tina Baron