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US Swim School Association shares a few tips about Swim lessons

Posted by Olga Baker on


USSSA​ ​Stance​ ​on​ ​Swim​ ​Lessons​ ​for​ ​Babies,​ ​Toddlers​ ​and​ ​Children

The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​Swim​ ​Schools​ ​Association​ ​strongly​ ​believes​ ​that​ ​babies,​ ​toddlers​ ​and​ ​children​ ​of​ ​all​ ​ages should​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​swim​ ​lessons​ ​in​ ​a​ ​high​ ​quality​ ​aquatics​ ​program.​ ​​​A​ ​child​ ​of​ ​any​ ​age​ ​will​ ​never​ ​be completely​ ​“drownproof”​ ​or​ ​“watersafe,”​ ​however​ ​we​ ​can​ ​teach​ ​our​ ​children​ ​and​ ​families​ ​to​ ​be​ ​​safer​ ​​around the​ ​water.

The​ ​best​ ​aquatics​ ​programs​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​three​ ​areas:

  1. Swim​ ​skill​ ​education​ ​in​ ​a​ ​fun​ ​and​ ​nurturing​ ​environment

  2. Safety​ ​behaviors​ ​for​ ​the​ ​child​ ​to​ ​use​ ​around​ ​the​ ​water

  3. Parent​ ​information​ ​on​ ​the​ ​learn​ ​to​ ​swim​ ​process​ ​and​ ​water​ ​safety​ ​strategies​ ​they​ ​should​ ​employ, which​ ​includes​ ​emphasis​ ​on​ ​vigilant​ ​adult​ ​supervision​ ​around​ ​water

After​ ​working​ ​with​ ​families​ ​for​ ​so​ ​many​ ​years,​ ​we​ ​believe​ ​parents/caregivers​ ​have​ ​many​ ​misconceptions​ ​about drowning​ ​and​ ​about​ ​what​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​it​ ​from​ ​happening.​ ​They​ ​think​ ​it​ ​only​ ​happens​ ​to​ ​families​ ​who​ ​“allow their​ ​children​ ​to​ ​wander​ ​and​ ​just​ ​don’t​ ​care,”​ ​but​ ​that’s​ ​just​ ​not​ ​the​ ​case.​ ​A​ ​drowning​ ​can​ ​happen​ ​quickly​ ​and quietly,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​can​ ​happen​ ​to​ ​anyone.
Many​ ​parents​ ​would​ ​be​ ​surprised​ ​to​ ​find​ ​out​ ​that​ ​most​ ​drownings​ ​of young​ ​children​ ​occur​ ​in​ ​backyard​ ​pools​ ​and​ ​that​ ​it​ ​often​ ​happens​ ​during​ ​a​ ​time​ ​when​ ​a​ ​child​ ​is​ ​in​ ​the​ ​care​ ​of one​ ​or​ ​both​ ​parents.​ ​Most​ ​young​ ​children​ ​who​ ​have​ ​drowned​ ​had​ ​been​ ​missing​ ​for​ ​less​ ​than​ ​five​ ​minutes when​ ​the​ ​tragedy​ ​occurred.​ ​
According​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Centers​ ​of​ ​Disease​ ​Control,​ ​drowning​ ​is​ ​responsible​ ​for​ ​more deaths​ ​among​ ​children​ ​1-4 years​ ​than​ ​any​ ​other​ ​cause​ ​except​ ​congenital​ ​anomalies​ ​(birth​ ​defects).​ ​With​ ​these​ ​kinds of​ ​statistics,​ ​parents​ ​need​ ​to​ ​do​ ​everything​ ​they​ ​can​ ​to​ ​help​ ​their​ ​children​ ​become​ ​safer​ ​around​ ​the​ ​water. Water​ ​safety​ ​includes​ ​multiple​ ​areas​ ​of​ ​vigilance​ ​and​ ​preparedness.

​ ​your​ ​pool​ ​and​ ​lock​ ​your​ ​gate.​ ​​​Install​ ​locks​ ​on​ ​every​ ​door​ ​and​ ​window​ ​leading​ ​to​ ​the​ ​pool​ ​area.​ ​The fence​ ​should​ ​be​ ​equipped​ ​with​ ​self-closing​ ​and​ ​self-latching​ ​gates,​ ​and​ ​should​ ​prevent​ ​direct​ ​access​ ​to​ ​the pool​ ​from​ ​the​ ​house.​ ​Four​ ​sided​ ​isolation​ ​fencing​ ​in​ ​every​ ​pool​ ​could​ ​prevent​ ​50-90%​ ​of​ ​childhood​ ​drownings and​ ​near​ ​drownings.​ ​Other​ ​barriers​ ​include​ ​pool​ ​covers​ ​and​ ​pool​ ​alarms.

Watch​ ​Your​ ​Kids​ ​Around​ ​Water
​ ​adult​ ​supervision​ ​is​ ​key​ ​to​ ​preventing​ ​accidents​ ​around​ ​the​ ​water​ ​and​ ​no​ ​child​ ​should​ ​ever​ ​be​ ​left unattended​ ​around​ ​pools​ ​or​ ​open​ ​water.​ ​Children​ ​should​ ​only​ ​be​ ​near​ ​the​ ​pool​ ​when​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​responsible adult​ ​watching​ ​the​ ​pool.This​ ​is​ ​especially​ ​important​ ​when​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​pool​ ​party​ ​or​ ​many​ ​people​ ​in​ ​the​ ​pool. When​ ​everyone​ ​is​ ​watching,​ ​then​ ​no​ ​one​ ​is​ ​watching!​ ​One​ ​person​ ​should​ ​always​ ​be​ ​the​ ​designated​ ​water watcher​ ​and​ ​they​ ​should​ ​have​ ​no​ ​other​ ​responsibilities​ ​or​ ​have​ ​any​ ​alcoholic​ ​beverages.

Swim​ ​Lessons
​ ​lessons​ ​save​ ​lives.​ ​Even​ ​toddlers​ ​can​ ​learn​ ​basic​ ​swimming​ ​skills​ ​that​ ​they​ ​can​ ​use​ ​if​ ​they​ ​ever​ ​end​ ​up​ ​in the​ ​water.​ ​And​ ​a​ ​good​ ​swim​ ​program​ ​will​ ​always​ ​teach​ ​safer​ ​behaviors​ ​for​ ​children​ ​and​ ​families​ ​around​ ​the pool.​ ​However,​ ​even​ ​children​ ​with​ ​excellent​ ​swimming​ ​skills​ ​need​ ​the​ ​watchful​ ​eye​ ​of​ ​an​ ​adult​ ​to​ ​help​ ​keep them​ ​safer​ ​around​ ​the​ ​water.


Be​ ​Prepared
​ ​is​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​avoid​ ​incidents​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water.​ ​Would​ ​you​ ​know​ ​what​ ​to​ ​do​ ​in​ ​an​ ​emergency​ ​situation. If​ ​you​ ​had​ ​to,​ ​could​ ​you​ ​perform​ ​CPR​ ​on​ ​a​ ​loved​ ​one?​ ​Reduce​ ​the​ ​risk​ ​during​ ​an​ ​emergency​ ​by​ ​learning emergency​ ​response​ ​techniques.​ ​Adults​ ​should​ ​know​ ​how​ ​to​ ​perform​ ​CPR,​ ​and​ ​should​ ​post​ ​emergency instructions​ ​near​ ​the​ ​pool.

Learning​ ​to​ ​Swim​ ​Has​ ​Added​ ​Benefits:
​ ​to​ ​swim​ ​at​ ​a​ ​young​ ​age​ ​has​ ​also​ ​been​ ​shown​ ​to​ ​have​ ​long​ ​term​ ​benefits​ ​for​ ​the​ ​child.​ ​A​ ​four​ ​year study​ ​conducted​ ​by​ ​Griffith​ ​University​ ​reported​ ​in​ ​2013​ ​a​ ​number​ ​of​ ​social,​ ​physical,​ ​cognitive​ ​and​ ​emotional benefits​ ​to​ ​babies​ ​in​ ​high​ ​quality​ ​swim​ ​lessons.​ ​“While​ ​we​ ​expected​ ​the​ ​children​ ​to​ ​show​ ​better​ ​physical development​ ​and​ ​perhaps​ ​be​ ​more​ ​confident​ ​through​ ​swimming,​ ​the​ ​results​ ​in​ ​literacy​ ​and​ ​numeracy​ ​really shocked​ ​us,”​ ​lead​ ​researcher​ ​Professor​ ​Robyn​ ​Jorgensen​ ​said.​ ​“The​ ​children​ ​were​ ​anywhere​ ​from​ ​six​ ​to​ ​15 months​ ​ahead​ ​of​ ​the​ ​normal​ ​population​ ​when​ ​it​ ​came​ ​to​ ​cognitive​ ​skills,​ ​problem​ ​solving​ ​in​ ​mathematics, counting,​ ​language​ ​and​ ​following​ ​instructions.”​ ​Swimming​ ​affords​ ​a​ ​developing​ ​child​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​for​ ​a complete​ ​workout​ ​of​ ​heart,​ ​lungs,​ ​muscles​ ​and​ ​bones.​ ​It​ ​can​ ​improve​ ​quality​ ​of​ ​sleep​ ​and​ ​boost​ ​circulation aiding​ ​the​ ​immune​ ​system​ ​function​ ​resulting​ ​in​ ​fewer​ ​colds.​ ​In​ ​addition​ ​swim​ ​lessons​ ​with​ ​babies​ ​allows​ ​for important​ ​social​ ​and​ ​emotional​ ​bonding​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​with​ ​their​ ​caregiver​ ​away​ ​from​ ​cell​ ​phones,​ ​televisions​ ​and other​ ​modern​ ​distractions.

Aquatic​ ​instruction​ ​is​ ​an​ ​ongoing​ ​process​ ​that​ ​should​ ​continue​ ​long​ ​term​ ​throughout​ ​childhood​ ​to​ ​maximize the​ ​child’s​ ​learning​ ​of​ ​proper​ ​swimming​ ​techniques​ ​and​ ​respect​ ​for​ ​the​ ​water.

To​ ​find​ ​a​ ​swim​ ​school​ ​near​ ​you​ ​visit:​ ​​

The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​Swim​ ​School​ ​Association​ ​is​ ​a​ ​non-profit​ ​501(c)3​ ​established​ ​in​ ​1988​ ​dedicated​ ​to​ ​providing resources​ ​to​ ​assist​ ​our​ ​members​ ​in​ ​achieving​ ​their​ ​goals​ ​in​ ​the​ ​learn-to-swim​ ​business.​ ​For​ ​more​ ​information contact​ ​Executive​ ​Director,​ ​Lisa​ ​Zarda​ ​at​ ​480-837-5525​ ​or​ ​​lisa at usswimschools. org.

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