Q: WHEN CAN BABIES START?
A: Healthy babies (as young as one month) can start swimming when the circumcision has healed and the umbilical cord has fallen off. Water should be at least 90º.
Q: WHY START SO YOUNG?
A: The younger the babies, the more likely they are to accept the water and instruction. Human infants are adept at swimming. The behaviors of automatic breathe holding and swimming movements begin to fade as early as three months. Exposure to swimming provides the ideal exercise. Children are not restricted to gravity and benefit from the cardiovascular exercise that swimming provides. Starting early gives babies a head start on learning basic swimming skills and improves bilateral coordination and balance.
Q: FOR BABIES: PRIVATE or PARENT/TOT?
A: Generally, parents choose the parent/tot program in order to make the swimming experience as pleasant as possible. The group lesson pricing is more appealing than the expense of a private lesson. However, most babies take much longer to learn in a Parent/Tot class and some parents aren’t successful at teaching their babies to swim completely. If you want assurance that your child will complete the course, learn to swim and gain the ability to save himself in the shortest time frame possible, we suggest enrollment in Private Lessons. Eventually, the baby will bond with the teacher and will enjoy lessons without the parent.
Q: WHAT & WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN EAT BEFORE LESSONS?
A: We recommend that children not eat an uncomfortably large meal before lessons. Beginning swimmers under two years of age should avoid food (especially dairy products) two or three hours ahead of each lesson.
Q: SHOULD PARENTS BE VISIBLE DURING THE CHILD’S LESSON?
A: If the child is constantly asking for mommy or daddy throughout the lesson and the teacher is having trouble competing for attention, it is generally best to have the parent “out of sight and out of mind” until the child begins to bond with and trust the teacher. Often, if the child thinks there is a sympathetic person close by who will “save them” from their plight they will likely become melodramatic and emotionally distressed. We want parents to watch the entire lesson, but often prefer that they hide whenever their child becomes distracted by the possibility that mom or dad might bail them out of their situation.
Q: HOW OFTEN SHOULD LESSONS BE SCHEDULED?
A: Resistant or fearful students should (at first) attend as many lessons a week as possible. Attending once a week can work, but there will be accelerated success and improvement in attitude and skill if the student can attend at least two or three days each week (up to six days per week). When they begin to enjoy the water and the process of learning, scheduling once or twice a week is acceptable.
Q: TAKE LESSONS YEAR-ROUND OR TAKE A BREAK?
A: Students who are completely confident, comfortable, and proficient swimmers tend to remember how to swim (even after a long break) but why risk it? Swimming is such a healthy, fun activity, stay in the water year-round. We have year-round lesson programs and pools heated to 85º.
If young students have take a break from lessons, they rarely (if ever) lose skills they have learned. During a long break, however, the student can lose confidence and the loss of confidence could effect the student’s reaction in a water emergency.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING…SWIMMING, SWIMMING
Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD DOESN’T WANT TO TAKE LESSONS?
A: Remember the necessity of water safety—the alternative is terrifying. At first, your child may show very resistant behavior, but eventually the teacher will bring out THE BEST in your child. We guarantee that you will be indescribably proud of your child (and of yourself) for having persevered.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT A CHILD TO LEARN?
A: Our teachers use gentle persuasion. Most students become skilled enough to potentially save themselves, in about 10 to 20 private lessons. (Progress in our small groups can be just as productive.)