Kari has been creating a life of happiness, success, community and following her passion and vision. So, it is fitting on this Mother’s Day that we honor a woman who said yes to the best possible version of herself. Turning near tragedy into triumph and always seeking new ways to inspire others. She is literally saving lives. Welcome, Kari!
1. Tell us in a few sentences what you do. And why you do it.
My passion for water safety and drowning prevention came after my son experienced a nonfatal drowning at only 16 months of age. I quickly began to researching the various swim lesson methodologies and underwent my initial instructor training in 2000 with Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) and founded what is now the leading survival swim schools for infants and young children in Hillsborough County. In 2014, I founded the nonprofit, Water Smart Tots, Inc. which is dedicated to providing water safety and drowning prevention awareness. Since 2014, WST has awarded hundreds of scholarships valued at over $70,000, educated thousands of preschools through our interactive water safety curriculum and educated thousands of families on water safety and drowning prevention, Drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death among children under age 4. Kari is also a member of Safe Kids Greater Tampa, Hillsborough Water Safety Team, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and sits on the Florida Department of Children Child Abuse & Death Review committee.
2. What is your contact info (that you want shared) please include any active social handles, websites etc.
3. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is…
Make my coffee.
4. My best business advice is….
Put my energy into building myself and not worry about what “others” are doing.
5. My professional goal for 2021 is…
Increase the survival swim instructor network and begin laying the foundation for my next project, providing professional support for single mothers.
6. Your Astrological sign:
7. Favorite podcast:
New to podcasts so I don’t yet have a favorite.
8. Favorite pandemic binge watch:
All of Netflix. 😉
9. When I practice self-care I…
Go to Essentials and get a massage, facial or both.
10. The place I am happiest is…
11. 2020 taught me…
Change isn’t always a bad thing.
May is National Water Safety Month. Did you know drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of five? So far this year there have already been 31 child drowning deaths across the state of Florida, representing a 55% increase in the number of such drowning over the same period last year and a staggering 138% increase over the same period in 2019. Drowning is swift, silent, and does not discriminate. Here are some tips from Kari to help prevent it:
1. Have constant adult supervisions around the pool or water and always designate an on-duty watcher.
2. Use barriers such as pool fences, alarms and safety locks.
3. Enroll your child in classes centered around aquatic self-rescue skills.
Thank you Kari for all you to to help children, and thank you for soaring with us today!