We are excited to be partnering with Learn2Swim Week, an initiative backed by Laurie Lawrence and the Kids Alive – Do The Five campaign. The aim of Learn2Swim Week is to get children under five in the pool and learning to swim, so they can start to develop the skills they need to stay safe in the water.
Worldwide, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children under 5 years of age. In Australia, one person on average, drowns every week. Teaching a child to swim early is the best prevention.
This year, Learn2Swim Week will run from October 2-9 2018. During the campaign, we will offer a free introductory swimming lesson for all children under five in our area. We are also offering our existing clients with children under five a free second lesson. These free lessons can only be claimed during Learn2Swim Week.
So if you are a parent who has children under five, or know others who do, we’re encouraging you to take advantage of this great initiative and help us spread the word.
The ability to swim is one of the most important factors in reducing the risk of childhood drowning. Learn2Swim Week is designed to make it easy and free for parents to get their under-fives started in water safety. If you or someone you know would benefit from this offer, give us a call or send us an email to book in. You can also visit http://learn2swimweek.com/ to find out more information about the initiative.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more updates on Learn2Swim Week 2018!
Our parents ask us many different questions about swimming and water safety, so for the next few weeks we’re going to use the blog to answer some of them.
This week’s parent question is: “What are the recommended floatation devices when children are swimming unaided by parents?”
There are a variety of floatation devices on the market today, and each work in a different way. They are designed to keep children afloat so they can become confident in the water while they are exploring. It is important to note that flotation aids are not safety devices, and they are not designed to prevent drowning. While they can help children to float, they can’t help them to breathe. Children must be supervised at all times when they are around the water. This means that children must be within an arms length of a competent supervisor.
Children can drown if flotation aids are faulty, used incorrectly, or do not fit properly. Children who are inexperienced, or who may be scared or overconfident around water can unexpectedly get into trouble and panic. This can happen very quickly and quietly. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use. Before use, make sure that you check your flotation aids for holes, tears and leaks. If any of these are present, do not use them. Always follow the warnings and instructions for assembly and use.
The different types of flotation devices include vests, armbands, rings or seats. When choosing swimming and flotation aids for your child follow the manufacturer’s age and weight recommendations. Choose a design, size and fit that suits the development of your child. For example, flotation aids designed for younger children may not be suitable if your child is above average height and size for their age group, and vice versa. You can purchase some of these devices from our swim shop.
“Floaty Free Time”
If you choose to use these floatation devices, it is important to have some “Floaty Free Time”. Floaties can give your child a false sense of security that makes them overconfident. Or they can become scared of swimming without floaties, which can hinder their progress in swimming lessons. Set aside some time when you use floaties as “Floaty Free Time”, and let them explore and experience the water within your reach.
If you have a question you would like answered, feel free to get in touch with us via our Facebook page or email. You can also ask one of our friendly staff members for advice. For more articles like this one, pop on over to our News and Facebook pages.
Many swim schools recommend that parents stay in the water and participate in their child’s lesson until they reach a certain age. At Splash-A-Bout Swim School, we recommend that parents should participate in their child’s lesson until the child reaches at least 2½ years of age. This belief is based on our philosophy of focusing on the swimmer’s technique, rather than how far they can swim. This philosophy is the foundation for our entire program. In this article, we will discuss the many benefits of parental involvement in the learn to swim process.
Safe and Secure Environment
Parents are able to supervise their own child under the watchful eye of their instructor. It is important that you discuss and practice safety skills with your instructor. These might include a ‘safety slide’ into the water from the side, climbing out independently, swimming back to safety, and only swimming with parental supervision.
Maximum Practice Time
Having parents in the water with their children increases the amount of practice time each child receives. In essence, the parent is helping to teach their child. The parents can keep their swimmer moving, and provide them with the opportunity to constantly practice the skills needed to move through the water. There will always be more practice with a parent in the water, no matter how great your child’s instructor is.
In today’s busy society, there aren’t many opportunities where the parent and child can spend time focused on each other. Technology, siblings, and other activities take up most of the precious time in our daily lives. Swimming lessons offer parent and child a special bonding time. Everything else is left outside the pool and the focus is on the swimming lesson.
Parents can use their hands to physically manipulate the movement of their child’s arms and legs to create great swimmers. This physical manipulation creates neuromuscular patterns between the brain and the muscles. The more these neuromuscular patterns are reinforced, the better the child’s skills will become. Parents should ensure that when they are manipulating their child’s kicking, that they focus on the actions under the water. If the child has a good feel for the water, they can move through the water more effectively. Parents should also ensure that when they manipulate the child’s kicks, that they don’t bend the child’s knees too much. Too much bend in the knee promotes ‘bicycle kicks’, which creates a less effect kicking pattern. If you need help with this, please ask your instructor.
Having parents in the water is a huge help for the instructor. Many parents have different styles of disciplining their children. Parent participation in the water can ensure that this discipline style continues throughout swimming lessons. It can be a difficult task to keep a group of young swimmers on task. Parents can help instructors achieve this by assisting their child within the swimming lesson.
Food For Thought
Having the parent participating in their child’s swimming lesson doesn’t mean that the child needs their help to swim. Your child may already possess the skills to swim unassisted. Be assured that your child will still get the opportunity to practice swimming unassisted throughout our lessons. From our point of view, the benefits of parental involvement in lessons adds value to the learn to swim process. Parental Involvement allows parents, instructors and swimmers to work together. This enables us to produce swimmers with excellent technique, good feel for the water, and a love for safe swimming.
We have parents frequently ask us questions about googles. These questions include: “Does my child need goggles?“, “When is then best age to start wearing goggles?“, “Why do you do exercises without goggles?“, and “What do I look for when buying goggles?“. Goggles are an essential item in any swimmer’s equipment bag. They have an important place in learning to swim and even more so when swimmers start training more seriously. However, goggles should not be relied upon heavily in the early stages of learning to swim. Here are some important things you should know:
Goggles can be a real blessing for swimming instructors
Goggles can help instructors working with timid swimmers who are scared or reluctant to put their face under water for two reasons. It can give swimmers a little more confidence because they can see clearly, and frightened beginners often dislike water on their face. Goggles will protect their eyes from the water, and can make lessons a little bit easier.
Goggles can be a real pain for swimming instructors
They are a pain if they are ill-fitting, or if they leak and require adjusting after each lap. Wouldn’t you rather your child’s instructor spend time on teaching important swimming and water safety skills, instead of frequently adjusting goggles? There are a few things to consider when you are purchasing goggles for your child. You’ll need goggles that suit their face shape, the size of their head, and are easily adjustable as they grow. Goggle manufacturers place recommended ages on their goggles to help guide you. It is best to try on a few different sets of goggles to find the most suitable set for your child. We stock a wide range of goggles in different styles and fits at our swim shop. Our friendly staff will help you pick a pair that your child will love!
Googles are not essential in the early stages of learning to swim.
For infants and babies, the amount of time spent underwater will be limited at the start of their learn to swim journey. As young swimmers grow, they develop better swimming skills, and spend more time under water as their breath control improves. At this point, goggles may be required if eye irritation occurs. Seek advice from your instructors but don’t become reliant on goggles. We find that children start to wear goggles when they start swimming without their parents.
Goggle free time is important in swimming lessons.
This will help to promote water safety skills. It is important to remember though that if your child has an aquatic emergency, like falling into a pool, there is a chance that they will not be wearing goggles at the time. If your child is reliant on goggles, they could panic if they fall into water without goggles. Swimmers need to understand that water is blurry if you aren’t wearing goggles, but you can still navigate your way to safety without them. If young swimmers only know how to swim or put their face under water if they are wearing goggles, do they really know how to swim or put their face under water?
Goggles can be great for water play and exploration.
By allowing swimmers to play and explore under water you are encouraging them to build their breath control. Goggles can make under water play exciting because they can see everything clearly. It also allows swimmers to grow in confidence and ability outside of formal swimming lessons.
Keep these things in mind when you are attending swimming lessons with your child. Remember, although goggles can aid in the learning process they should not be relied upon in every swimming situation. Sometimes swimmers should go without for the sake of learning water safety, and their true capabilities in the water.