Frequently Asked Questions
- Why does Swimkids USA require reusable diapers?
- How do I help my child progress?
- Should my child wear goggles?
- Why do I have to get a wristband?
- How can I encourage my child to practice?
- Why should we call in our absences?
- Why does my child cry?
- How does SWIMkids USA handle a poop accident in the pool?
- Can my family use the practice pool?
- Why does SWIMkids USA close for four weeks each year?
- Why did the City of Phoenix pools close?
- How does music help my child learn?
- Why do instructors count "fishie crackers"?
- What's the best way to put on a swim cap?
- How can I protect my child's skin and hair in the water?
- What should I know about goggles?
- We're having a baby. How should we prepare our other child(ren)?
- What's included in a SWIMkids USA birthday party?
- How does SWIMkids USA train its staff?
- What does the new NIH study about swim lessons say?
- What are the benefits of the new UV system?
- Do you recommend water wings?
- At what age should my child begin lessons?
- What should we bring to swim lessons?
- How do lessons prepare my child for school?
- Why do students learn to do a trapeze & rainbow dives?
- Why are shoes, food & drink not permitted on the deck?
- How does my child learn?
- Why should my child swim year-round?
- How can I prevent ear infections?
- Where should I sit during my child's lesson?
FAQ: Why does Swimkids require reusable diapers?
We require reusable swim diapers (usually made of cloth or vinyl) because they do not clog our pool filters with gel like Huggies "Little Swimmers," Pampers "Splashers," or non-swim disposable diapers. Other advantages include less waste, no harsh chemicals, and lower cost for you over the long-term than multiple packs of disposable swim diapers. Instructions:
- Reusable diapers are designed to catch bowel movements (not urine) so change your child promptly before and after his/her lesson to prevent urine accidents. The pool chemicals kill any germs from urine within ten seconds. If fecal matter leaks into the pool, everyone must get out of the pool so that we can "shock" the pool with additional chemicals. We then move those students to the other pool.
- For hygiene reasons, rinse out any soiled reusable diapers in the toilet (not the sink or shower).
- Hang your reusable diaper to air dry after washing. The dryer can warp them.
We sell reusable diapers and swim suits with the diaper inside. They are also available online and at Target.
How do I help my child progress?
Graduating to the next level is a great feeling. But it doesn't happen every week. Our lessons are designed to fit into a continuing lifestyle of fitness and fun. You and your child must keep realistic expectations about graduating and remember that your child is different and unique. All children progress at different rates. To keep your child from becoming frustrated, as a parent you can do the following things:
STRATEGY #1: Use the play area and play pool as a reward after a successful, cooperative lesson. If you allow your child to play before his lesson, he may be reluctant to leave his "play time" to enter the pool for his lesson. Use the play areas as rewards and your child can experience the joy of accomplishment.
STRATEGY #2: Talk to your instructor about what your child needs to do to pass to the next level. Then, practice! In addition to your lesson, try to practice at least once a week. Our practice pool is open during our regular hours except from 1-3PM Monday and Friday. When you swim with your child, practice first and then play. Get the work done first so you can enjoy the well-deserved fun of play time. Talk to your child about the skills that she needs to learn to pass and offer lots of positive reinforcement. She wants to improve as much as you want her to.
STRATEGY #3: If after a couple months, your child has not shown incremental improvements, consider scheduling some private lessons with your instructor or with a different instructor. The individualized attention can make a real difference in your child's progress, especially if she is close to passing to the next level. Private lessons are $45 each and can be scheduled at the front desk or with your instructor.
STRATEGY #4: Consider a teacher change. Sometimes, children respond better to a different teaching style. She may have gotten into a routine and needs a fresh start by switching times or teaching styles.
STRATEGY #5: If you feel like your child is regressing after all of these efforts, talk to Lana (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Amanda (email@example.com). (firstname.lastname@example.org). They can meet with you and your child and recommend a "prescription" for improvement.
At SWIMkids, we want your child to progress, learn, and have fun.
We will work to keep you happy with our program. We are committed
to helping your child progress and will do what it takes to help her
FAQ: Should my child wear goggles?
At SWIMkids USA, we want your child to learn to be safe in the water. Therefore, we recommend passing through the water safety levels (Beginning Survival, Intermediate Survival, and Bronze Junior) before regularly wearing goggles. We don't want your child to become dependent upon the goggles and unable to perform survival skills automatically without them. To ensure that children can perform these skills at the automatic level, the test to pass Bronze Junior is to swim across the pool clothed without goggles.
Of course, there are exceptions because every child is different. We realize that our pool water can irritate little eyes, especially when the child is overwhelmed by all of the sensory stimulation that swimming provides. Our instructors may recommend goggles for children
that need a little help putting their faces in the water. Or, we might have the children wear goggles for just a portion of the class.
FAQ: Why do I have to get a wristband?
Thank you for checking in every week to get a bracelet, even when there is a line. You might wonder why.
- The front desk takes attendance and verifies that your account is current. We try to call you if you miss two or more lessons without calling in to make sure that everything is okay.
- The wristband color matches the instructor's station color where your child's class meets, directing you where to go. The wristband helps you find the right station, right class, right level, and the right instructor. The bracelet color indicates the station, not the level, because different levels meet at the same station.
FAQ: How can I encourage my child to practice?
"Students can pass up to two times faster if they practice weekly." Lana Whitehead, SWIMkids USA Owner
Many parents share a frustration - their child won't practice swimming outside of class.
STEP ONE: Know what specific skills to work on. Ask your instructor each week for homework.
STEP TWO: Set aside time to practice these skills every week. Maybe set a timer to use the full amount of time. Our practice pool is open during our business hours except weekdays from 1-3pm.
STEP THREE: Notice what he does well and reward him.
1. Allow for play time in the pool after these skills are practiced. Get the work done first, saving the play as a reward for afterwards. If your child is unwilling to work, get out of the pool, skipping play time.
2. Use something concrete like a sticker chart or tokens to save and buy rewards.
3. Praise your child
after each practice session with encouraging words and hugs. When
he passes to a new level, remind him what a difference practice made.
FAQ: Why should we call in our absences?
Free make-ups are a special benefit that we offer here at SWIMkids USA. For you to use your make-ups, everyone must call in all absences as stated in your contract. One week in February we had 600 no-call no-shows! If you do not attend without calling for two weeks in a row, we try to call you to make sure everything is all right. If more families call in their absences, then it will be easier to manage staff time and to schedule make-ups because there will be more openings. Please program 480-820-9109 into your phone.
To schedule a make-up, call first thing in the morning on the day that you are available. Our staff will see if a time is open at your child's level that day. Like a competitive swim club, no make-ups are available for rookie or swim team. Make-ups are for illness only and must be used within 30 days.
FAQ: Why does my child cry?
Many times a child doesn't laugh and splash at his first swim lessons. This does not mean that the child does not like the water. There are so many new things in the pool: new smells, movements, lights, strangers, water all over the body. The child's nervous system is often over-stimulated and needs time to process all that is interesting and new. When a child gets used to the new environment, he can feel safer and begin to explore and enjoy it.
If your child seems to be unhappy and cries, it is easy to interpret this as a dislike for the swim lessons, although seldom is the water causing the upset. Children can have quite different temperaments. Moods can vary quite a bit, and the child can both laugh and cry within a short period whether in the water or on land. Your child might be upset for one of these reasons:
- Hunger or fatigue. A different class time might change the entire experience. A hungry or tired child is much more sensitive to new experiences and environments than a child with a full stomach who has slept sufficiently.
- Your uneasiness. Your child may sense that you are not at ease or afraid of what's going on in the pool. Your child is an expert at reading your feelings! If you are feeling afraid or stressed about swimming, so will he. Talk positively about swimming.
- Your location. He sees his parent standing by the side of the pool and is frustrated at not being able to be with her. If the parent is out of sight for a lesson or two, the child will often calm down and become interested in the activities all around him. Periods of clinginess often affect a child's attitude in the water since he prefers to be held rather than to try new things. It's important to be aware of these natural developmental stages so you don't come to the wrong conclusion: that the child doesn't like the water.
FAQ: How does SWIMkids USA handle a poop accident in the pool?
Working with children who are not potty-trained leads to...accidents! At SWIMkids USA, our procedure, as prescribed by the Maricopa County Health Department when a child has a bowel movement in the pool, is the following:
- Evacuate the pool. Fortunately, we have three pools so that classes can continue in the other pools. At other swim schools with just one pool, they must schedule make-ups or give refunds.
- Add cleansing chemicals to the pool. Students cannot return to that pool until after the prescribed time (usually 20-45 minutes).
- Clean the pool. If there is debris, we vacuum the pool.
For accidents involving urine, the pool chlorine kills any germs immediately.
We require the use of cloth or vinyl reusable swim diapers for children
who are not potty-trained rather than Huggies Swimmers-type which clog
our filters due to the volume of children here. Reusable swim
diapers are designed to catch bowel movements, not urine so put on a
fresh diaper after swimming. The reusable diapers are available
at our retail wall behind the snack bar.
FAQ: Can my family use the practice pool?
We recommend practicing in our practice pool (or a different pool) outside of your lesson at least once a week to help your child progress up to two times faster. Practice your airplanes or strokes first, then play as a reward afterwards.
Please follow these guidelines when using our practice pool:
- While your children in the Survival Levels are in the practice pool, you must be in the pool with them or they must wear Coast Guard approved lifevests. Be vigilant.
- No jumping or horseplay.
- Only currently enrolled swim students and their parents may use the practice pool.
- The practice pool is closed from 1-3PM Monday through Friday.
FAQ: Why does SWIMkids USA close for four weeks each year?
In order to offer twelve four-week monthly sessions in a 52-week year and to give our staff an occasional break, SWIMkids USA closes for four weeks spread throughout the year. Pro-rating lessons each month if we were closed for a holiday (for example, Monday lessons for Memorial
Day) would be too difficult and the students' progress would suffer because so many holidays are on Mondays. We close for one week for spring break in March, for summer break in August, for Thanksgiving break in November, and for Christmas break in December. We are open other holidays such as
Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Halloween. For billing, some months may have three lessons, some five, but by the end of the year, it all balances out.
FAQ: Why did the City of Phoenix pools close?
26 Phoenix pools were closed for a week in July 2008 after officials said an accidental bowel movement caused the outbreak at two pools in west Phoenix. The contaminations sickened nearly 60 people, though only two people have confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis. Cryptosporidium is spread through feces and causes diarrhea. City workers spent days hyperchlorinating and backwashing the pools to clear them of the parasite.
Cryptosporidiosis is caused by microscopic parasites. Both the disease and the parasite are commonly known as "Crypto." The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very resistant to chlorine disinfection.
Water is the most common method of transmission of this parasite and Cryptosporidium is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease (drinking water and recreational water) among humans in the United States.
Advice for all swimmers:
- Don't swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick. This is especially important for kids in diapers. Anyone that has had symptoms of intestinal illness including diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps should not swim in any pool for a few days after their symptoms have disappeared.
- Use a different suit for SWIMkids USA than for public pools. We take precautions to avoid these outbreaks by regularly draining the pools, changing the water and scrubbing the pool walls with chlorine as directed by the Health Department.
- Don't swallow pool water. In fact, avoid getting water in your mouth.
- Practice good hygiene. Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
- For parents of young kids:
- Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear "I have to go" may mean that it's too late.
- Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not poolside. Germs can spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool and cause illness.
- Wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Everyone has invisible amounts of fecal matter on their bottoms that end up in the pool.
SWIMkids USA Note: Call in when you're sick and we're happy to give you a make-up lesson!
- Adapted from www.kpho.com
and the Center for Disease Control
FAQ: How does music help my child learn?
Children love to move with music; it's very enjoyable. A child reacts to the sounds of music with motion, rocking, swaying, clapping and kicking in the water. Music is multi-sensory. We want learning to involve a child's whole nervous system. By stimulating the brain through multiple senses, learning is multiplied and reinforced. Learning involves the whole body when a child hears the words, sings them, beats the rhythm on their body and kicks their feet in the water. Therefore, learning is facilitated when the whole body is involved. Music is one of the few activities that uses both sides of the brain simultaneously. By using the logical (left) and the creative (right) side of the brain at the same time, the brain grows connections across both hemispheres. The more interconnections a child has, the more capable he is of learning and the faster he can think.
Children love the rhythm and harmony of songs with matching movements, and this contributes to their feeling of accomplishment and belonging to a group. Through movement in the water and singing, children will develop their:
- Eye-hand coordination mimicking the actions
- Speech by singing along
- Rhythm and timing skills by sensing the beat
- Memory by the repetition of lyrics
Adapted by Lana Whitehead
from: Channon, J. "Why Music for Young Children?,"
Reference Manual for Early Childhood in Water. New Zealand,
FAQ: Why do instructors count "fishie crackers"?
After watching a survival level class, you may wonder why swim instructors count "fishie (goldfish) crackers." There are 3 good reasons:
1. The use of sign language matched with movement across the body's midline stimulates the child's proprioceptive sensory system (the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body) and aids in connecting the two hemispheres of the brain.
2. The child is enticed to earn the reward of fishie crackers by doing a good rainbow dive. Food is a primary reinforcer.
3. Singing "fishie
crackers" is fun and a good break in the middle of the work of a lesson.
For many children, eating the crackers is their favorite part of the
FAQ: What's the best way to put on a swim cap?
1. Put some baby powder (or corn starch or water) inside the cap and shake all of the excess out.
2. Wrap long hair in a bun or secure with a fabric ponytail holder. It is difficult to rearrange your hair once the swim cap is on, so position your hair carefully so that your goggle strap will comfortably fit around your head.
3. Hold your swim cap open with both hands on the long side, keeping both thumbs on the inside of the cap.
4. Look down at the floor and place the front end of the cap on your forehead. The crease of the cap should start at your forehead and end at the nape of your neck.
5. Pull the cap back until the back of the cap is down below your hairline.
6. Tuck ears and any
loose strands of hair into the cap.
FAQ: How can I protect my child's skin and hair in the water?
Chlorinated water can be hard on your child's sensitive skin, hair, swimsuit, and eyes.
1. Before getting into the pool, give your child a shower to wet his skin and hair. If they are wet, they will not absorb as much chlorinated water. Leave conditioner in his hair for added protection or put a swim cap on him.
2. When swimming outdoors, apply a waterproof sunscreen to his skin 20 minutes before going into the water so it doesn't wash right off. Reapply if he gets out and then back in.
3. After swimming, wash his hair with shampoo and conditioner and his body with body wash. Use products which are formulated to add moisture back to hair and body. Apply lotion to his body after blotting the shower water off.
4. To care for his swimsuit after swimming, rinse it out with cool water in the sink and then airdry.
5. Make sure your child drinks lots of non-caffeinated fluids to stay hydrated.
FAQ: What should I know about goggles?
Goggles protect eyes from sun, chlorine, salt, and other water irritants, help with clear vision underwater to avoid disorientation, and keep contacts in eyes. But "Badly fitting goggles will not serve their purpose and will simply be a cause of annoyance," according to Patricia Skinner, of Article Insider. To ensure proper fit: Hold the goggles up to your eyes and press them into your sockets (without the strap). If they stay in place for a little while, they are a good fit.
There are three main types of goggles: Swedish without gaskets, foam gaskets, or plastic gaskets. Clear lenses are better for inside, like at SWIIMkids USA; tinted goggles are better for outdoors in the sun. Goggles are not effective in deep water due to the water pressure. To prevent fogging, a drop of baby shampoo is effective.
At SWIMkids USA, we do not recommend using goggles
until the Bronze level. We want to make sure that your child has
mastered their safety skills before goggles are introduced so that she
will know what to do in an emergency situation and not become dependent
FAQ: We're having a baby. How should we prepare our other child(ren)?
"Continuing lessons when the baby comes is very important to your older child's well-being and development." Lana Whitehead, SWIMkids USA Owner
Congratulations on your upcoming miracle! Preparing siblings for the new arrival will the make the transition to a bigger family smoother.
- Talk to your child(ren) about what is happening and how things will be different when the baby comes.
- Set aside 20+ minutes everyday for quality time with your child, such as reading a book.
- Continue routines as much as possible including going to swim lessons and other regular activities such as preschool. If you discontinue your child's lessons, it will be even more disorienting. Your child needs the consistency of regular, weekly lessons; a constant when their world is going through this significant change.
- Find ways that your child can help with the baby, such as pushing the stroller and singing her to sleep. Offer lots of praise for his help.
- Recruit help. Taking your child to swim lessons or watching the baby so you can read with your child are great things for fathers and relatives to do.
FAQ: What's included in a SWIMkids USA birthday party?
We are excited to offer birthday parties again!
A basic "Guppy" Swim Birthday Party Package includes for just $325:
- Facility Rental for 2 Hours
- One Lifeguard for up to 15 guests
- Event Planner & On-site Party Coordinator
- Assistance with Set-Up & Clean Up
- Use of Climate Controlled Play Area
- Use of Indoor Heated Pool
- Party Invitations
- Gift Table & Cake Table
- Picnic Tables & Chairs
- Birthday Signage for Birthday Child
- Beverages & Ice
- Standard Napkins, Plates, Table Coverings, & Plastic Ware
- Special Promotion Coupons towards future services and retail items
- Guest Registry & Gift Registry (if opening on-site)
- Special Gift for Birthday Child
Other options and packages are available including dance and gym parties. Please e-mail email@example.com or call (480) 820-9109 to book your party today or with any questions.
FAQ: How does SWIMkids USA train its staff?
Having a highly trained staff is an important way that we deliver quality, state-of-the-art swim instruction here at SWIMkids USA. All of our instructors must complete 40 hours training (10 hours observing, 30 hours hands-on) and 110 hours assisting.
Ongoing, we train our staff with these programs:
- Mentoring program
- Weekly customer service training
- Monthly lifeguarding/first aid/CPR re-certification classes
- Monthly curriculum instruction
- Quarterly staff training
- Annual staff retreat
- Annual swim school and drowning prevention conferences
FAQ: What does the new NIH study about swim lessons say?
In the past, the American Association of Pediatricians has recommended that children should not start swim lessons until age four. A new study from the National Institutes of Health says that "swimming lessons could appropriately be considered for inclusion as part of a complete prevention program, along with fencing for pools, appropriate adult supervision, and training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for parents and caregivers." Dr. Duane Alexander. And according to Dr. Ruth Brenner, "From our calculations, we are confident that swimming lessons do not increase drowning risk in this age group and likely have a protective effect. "This study's findings are definitely a step in the right direction," said SWIMkids USA General Manager Bryan Crane. The complete article is at http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2009/nichd-02a.htm.
FAQ: What are the benefits of the UV system?
SWIMkids USA utilizes a UV system in our pools. Water is conducted through the chamber of the device where it is exposed to the UV-C band. The light penetrates cell walls of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms (including chlorine-resistant crypto and giardia), altering the DNA. This process inactivates cells so they are no longer able to replicate and are considered dead. Then chlorine is free to attack bacteria and wastes introduced by swimmers and the environment so fewer chemicals are needed. Using UV-C is a chemical free disinfection method that can also deplete chloramines (a disinfectant by-product of chlorine), which are often the cause of odor and irritants in pools. The water will feel better to your child's eyes and skin so we know that it is worth the investment.
FAQ: Do you recommend water wings?
We are often asked about the use of water wings (inflatable armbands or "floaties") at home. To begin, there is no substitute for supervision during water activities. Toy floaties or swim floation suits can create a false sense of security for both child and parent and should be used cautiously. Also, the child can still go underwater while wearing them. Generally, we do not recommend the use of water wings because the child's head is up with her feet down, creating an enormous amount of drag. This quickly leads to exhaustion causing the body to become vertical in the water, also known as the drowning position. We use noodles because the child is more horizontal in the water and as a reward after the work of a class is done under the instructor's supervision. In addition, the Coast Guard does recommend and many states require wearing only Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices like life vests when water skiing, boating, rafting, or sailboarding.
FAQ: At what age should my child begin lessons?
Early water stimulation benefits your child. Parents who begin parent/tot swim classes around age 6 months usually feel that it was a good time to start. The baby has little perception of water other than the usually warm and positive experiences of the womb and of his bath. The infant has a very good chance to develop a good, healthy relationship with the water. The early sensory experience of the skin coming in contact with the water aids in the child's overall organization of the nervous system. The more stimulation of nerves the child experiences, the more interconnections and neuro-pathways develop in the brain cells. This explains why many studies have shown that children who have experienced early stimulation in water training develop earlier in many different ways.
We believe children are born with an innate love of the water. The earlier they start to swim, the chance of "outside factors" affecting their attitudes is lower. Parents who begin later on, for instance, find it harder for their child to feel safe on his back in the water. It often takes longer for the child to get used to the environment and to get used to submersion. An older toddler has probably reached a more "clingy" stage, is more reserved, and less willing to try new things. It is easier to acclimate an infant to the water environment but it is much better to begin later than not to begin at all.
FAQ: What should we bring to swim lessons?
- Cloth or vinyl "reusable" swim diaper. If your child is not potty trained, she must wear a swim diaper to keep the water from contamination by bowel movements. The pool chemicals and ultraviolet system kill any germs from urine and most from feces including crypto and guardia. SWIMkids USA does not permit any disposable diapers in the pool, including disposable swim diapers (Huggies "little swimmers" or Pampers "splashers"), because they clog the filters due to the volume of children who use our pool. Please clean any soiled cloth diapers in the toilets, not in the sinks or showers. Air dry your reusable diaper to prevent warping. The reusable diapers are available for purchase at our retail counter, online, or at Target.
- Hair ties or swim cap for long hair.
- Goggles, if desired, for Bronze levels and above usually. We recommend that students pass the water safety levels before they use goggles.
- Combination lock, if desired. Lockers are available for day-use only in the locker rooms.
- A new, clean diaper for after the lesson (if not potty-trained).
- Warm, dry clothes and shoes to change into.
- Soap and shampoo. Due to the chemicals in the water, we recommend showering after the lesson.
FAQ: How do lessons prepare my child for school?
Swimming is great for getting your child ready to learn in school. For example, our swim-float-swim sequence taught in our water safety levels develops:
- Muscle tone and coordination
- Balance and gravitational security for self esteem
- Spatial awareness for math
- Bilateral integration for language, reading, and writing
- Visual perception for reading, writing and spelling
- Midline crossover for handwriting
- Emergence of preferred hand dominance for fine motor coordination for writing
- Hearing phonemes and patterns of language for speech refinement
- Eye movement control or eye tracking for reading
- Self esteem
SWIMkids USA Founder and President Lana Whitehead has written four books on this subject.
FAQ: Why do students learn to do a trapeze & rainbow dives?
In the Beginning and Intermediate Survival levels, instructors hold a students hand as they jump into the pool, then aid them in turning around and grabbing the wall. We call this "trapeze" because the child is swinging on the instructorís finger. Like the traditional song, "He flies through the air with the greatest of ease..."
In an emergency situation if a child were to fall into the pool, he would probably fall head first because his head is large in proportion to his body (as compared to an adult). To survive, he must either 1) roll to a back float and propel himself to safety in a superman position (rainbow dive) or 2) grab the wall (trapeze) and climb out or abba dabba (hand to hand monkey walk) to the safety of the steps.
FAQ: Why are shoes, food & drink not permitted on the deck?
To keep the decks clean, which keeps your costs down, please remove your shoes before walking on the deck to avoid tracking outside contaminants into the pool areas. If you do not wish to go barefoot, bring a special pair on flipflops just for that purpose. Also, keep food and drink in the picnic area to avoid spills.
You will see our deck managers with their shoes on. They are on their feet on the hard deck for many hours. Because of this, we allow them to wear shoes on the deck. Otherwise, they may suffer from back or other problems if their feet do not have the proper support.
FAQ: How does my child learn?
Without the interaction with the physical environment (land and water), learning is very difficult. Most of our learning must occur first through the organization of our sensory and motor systems. Later on, more intellectual and academic learning can take place in the cerebral cortex. Sensory and motor interaction lays the groundwork for intellectual functions.
It may look like the child is just playing in the pool but actually he is learning something very basic: he is learning how to learn. Learning is a function of the entire nervous system. The more the sensory and motor systems work together, the more the child can learn and the easier it is for him. Learning begins with gravity. Learning to sit up, stand, float and kick to the wall and to the stairs develops the brainís capacity to learn more complex things. When the groundwork is laid at the sensory and motor level, the child is better able to learn language, numbers, and reason.
When a young child is participating in swim or gym class, it may look like he is merely swimming, but his nervous system is developing. He is growing new interconnections and neural pathways that lay intricate neural networks to direct a childís higher level brain development.
FAQ: Why should my child swim year-round?
Don't let your child forget everything she has learned this summer; keep her swimming all year. There are many benefits:
- Safer & more confident in the water due to constant learning and practice during physical growth and maturation.
- Improved health due to consistent exercise of the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
- Increased strength and coordination leading to better performance in other physical activities.
- Accelerated brain development, which has scientifically been linked to movement patterns used in swimming.
- Higher intelligence and problem solving, which helps early schooling.
- Greater self-discipline plus motivation and confidence to succeed.
- Increased attention span and alertness in school from listening skills and processing series of complex instructions.
- Greater self-respect from consistent goal setting, learning and achievement.
- Valuable socialization skills from interaction with classmates.
-Based on scientific studies on infant swimming in Germany
FAQ: How can I prevent ear infections?
- Keep your ears dry. Dry your ears thoroughly after exposure to moisture from swimming or bathing. Dry only your outer ear slowly and gently with a soft towel or cloth. Tip your head to the side to help water drain from your ear canal. You can dry your ears with a blow-dryer if you put it on the lowest setting and hold it at least a foot (0.3 meter) away from the ear.
- At-home preventive treatment. If you know you don't have a punctured eardrum, you can use a homemade preventive eardrop before and after swimming. A mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part rubbing alcohol may help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi that can cause swimmer's ear. Pour 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of the solution into each ear and let it drain back out. Similar over-the-counter solutions may be available at your drugstore.
- Swim wisely. Avoid swimming in polluted water.
- Avoid putting foreign objects in your ear. Never attempt to dig out excess or hardened earwax with items such as a cotton swab, paper clip or hairpin. Using these items can pack material deeper into your ear canal, irritate the thin skin inside your ear or scratch the skin.
- Protect your ears. Avoid substances that may irritate your ears, such as hair sprays and hair dyes. Or put cotton balls in your ears when applying these products.
- Use caution after ear infection or surgery. If you've recently had an ear infection or ear surgery, talk to your doctor before you swim.
FAQ: Where should I sit during my child's lesson?
For smaller children needing comforting or help staying on the step, you may wish to sit on a kickboard on the pool's edge with your feet in the water and your child on the steps.
A child may see his parent standing by the side of the pool and is frustrated at not being able to be with her. If the parent is out of sight for a lesson or two, the child will often calm down and become interested in the activities all around him. Periods of clinginess often affect a child's attitude in the water since he prefers to be held rather than to try new things. It's important to be aware of these natural developmental stages so you don't come to the wrong conclusion: that the child doesn't like the water. Be ready to pick your child up at the end of class and check in with the instructor for homework.