Drowning is Silent and Does Not Discriminate
Common Questions and Concerns
Why is the cost so much higher than other swim programs?
We are not like other swim programs. Keep in mind that your child is getting one on one time with the instructor. If your child is enrolled in a group setting for 30 minutes they may only get about 10 minutes worth of individualized attention, if that. In our setting the entire lesson is focused on your child with no other distractions hindering the lesson time. This allows your child to retain more of what is being taught. By attending the program at Aqua Baby Survival Swim School, LLC your child will be a step above the rest in weeks, not several months or in some cases years of attending lessons.
Why is each lesson so short?
The attention span for a young child is very short. Repetition is the key to your child learning the skills needed. This repetition creates a muscle memory of what to do. They will be swimming non-stop for 10 minutes which means they will also tire quicker. By the end of 4-5 weeks (depending on where your child is developmentally) they will be able to swim•float•swim fully clothed.
Is there a special diet prior to lessons?
YES! Please do not feed your child at least 2 hours prior to their lesson. Fruit, veggies, meat, eggs and milk products take several hours to digest, so these foods should not be given less than 4 hours prior to lessons. Exception: breast milk may be given an hour before. All children swallow a lot of air and possibly water during their lesson which makes abiding by these rules helpful in alleviating any vomiting that could occur. Vomiting and burping can happen at any time regardless of their last meal, so controlling their feedings helps keep the pool clean in the event anything does come back up.
What will my child be learning?
Infants 6-12 months can learn to swim and roll to a float. Floating helps them to relax and breathe, developmentally they are not capable of turning their heads to breathe, but this is the next possible option. Every child is different and tends to learn at different paces.
Older children 12 months-4 years old are able to learn the swim•float•swim sequence. This is where a child will swim until they need a breathe, roll to their back for a short period to rest, then roll back to belly down position to continue swimming and repeating the pattern until they get to their destination.
During your child's last week of lessons we will do a "clothes check" which will have your child performing their skills fully clothed simulating an accidental situation.
How soon can I expect my child to swim?
Each child progresses at a different pace, has a different personality, and is at a different stage of development and coordination. Some will be very quick to acquire new skills, and others who may have a fear of water or who have learned ineffective behaviors in the water may take a little more time. Personality also plays a key factor in learning. I will not rush a child, nor allow the parents to do so. Usually babies 12 to 24 months are doing very well after four or five weeks of lessons. Older children typically progress more quickly than these younger babies, particularly children over 4 years who receive 20 minute private lessons. Younger infants (6 to 11 months) who are “floaters” take less time initially (3-4 weeks) because they are learning only a part of the swim-float-swim sequence. Whatever the case, I teach each student with a gentle and encouraging approach, recognizing that each child is uniquely different. Your child may learn one skill quickly and then it may take longer to acquire another skill. Like dance, sports skills or learning a musical instrument, learning to swim is a process that must be nurtured and developed over time. It is a motor skill that will improve with consistent exposure, repetition and practice. You may also notice that your child will learn some skills quickly and then be hesitant to learn anything new. This is perfectly normal for children (and adults, too!). Once a child has accomplished a skill, they will want to do it again and again. Just as we would, he/she feels secure, confident, and proud of their accomplishments. Rest assured that acquisition of new skills and allowing your child to feel confident with his/her ability in the water will be kept in balance throughout the learning process.
What if my child is afraid of the water?
Some of the more common causes of early fear of the water have to do with the way parents or caregivers relate to children in and around water. Being involved in water activities before being properly skilled, having parents who are afraid of the water and who have either knowingly or unknowingly communicated this fear to their children, being raised in an environment that prohibits childhood water play, whether as a result of lack of opportunity or parental actions, and experiencing or witnessing a traumatic water incident can all cause very valid fears in young children. Because we understand this, we commit to be relaxed, patient, and understanding toward your child, provide a reasonable amount of control to a frightened child, and create a positive learning environment with praise, toys and activities that promote the learn-to-swim process.
What if my child cries during lessons?
It is important to note that there are different reasons for crying and different degrees of crying. A certain amount of crying or complaining is to be expected from most beginners and is not cause for concern. At first, your child may show some reluctance. A positive attitude from Mom or Dad will go a long way in reassuring a reluctant child. You will see that as skills are developed, your child will settle into the lesson routine and may very well begin to enjoy his/her newfound skills. We use a variety of methods so that each child gains trust in the instructor and in the lesson process.
Important: We believe no child should be subjected to a fearful or intimidating learning environment. However, it is unrealistic to say that children never cry during swimming lessons. In some instances babies may become tired or hungry during the lesson and sometimes they may cry as a means of complaining about having to work in the water. Frequently they cry because they are learning new skills, which they have yet to master. These cries are very different than a fearful cry and I am in tune to those differences. It is important for parents to offer enthusiastic support, not sympathy, for their child’s efforts and hard work.
Are there makeup lessons for illness and vacations?
Once your child begins lessons, you are expected to pay for the 6 week program of ten minute lessons (4 weeks for infant floaters) or 3 week program of twenty minute lessons. Heavy scheduling makes it too complicated to offer make up lessons. However, options are available. If you know your child is going to be ill for an extended period of time, or you are planning a vacation, you may give up your time and go into a “first priority waiting list”. As soon as you are ready to come back into lessons, the next available time slot will be offered to you. I will do my best to accommodate your schedule. If you have paid for the time --- it is yours. If a child is ill for a day or two, most parents choose to have their spot held. It is important for you to watch your child’s health during lessons.
What do I bring to lessons?
Please bring a towel and a change of clothes. Children that are under 4 years old, potty trained or not should wear a snug reusable neoprene swim diaper or "swim undies" for those that are potty trained (we provide the first one). I'll just need to know your child's weight for sizing. If you happen to forget the swim diaper or "swim undies" I will have extras for purchase for $25 each. Even if you just want to have an extra one on hand, you're more than welcome to purchase another.
What happens after my child has completed lessons?
It is encouraged that your child attend Maintenance lessons/group classes once per week to retain and build upon their skills. This is especially important during the warmer months when your child may be swimming/playing differently than how they learned. By having them attend group class once a week this encourages them to use their skills. For children under 2 it is especially important that they continue to attend as they will outgrow their skills much faster than an older child might. Your child grows so rapidly during the first few years their center of gravity tends to shift which could affect their ability to float comfortably.