Archive for July, 2010

Add Swim School to Your Grade School

As children head back to school, and parents’ lives getbusier, it is important to remember that the ability to swim efficiently is a lifelong skill that can save your child’s life. Like learning any other skill, (such as reading or playing an instrument) learning to swim is a process that requires ongoing repetition and practice.

There are countless reasons children should swim yearround – here are the top five.

  1. Safety. A parent’s commitment to swimmingeducation can help protect a child in the water for life. Along with the American Red Cross, the American Coaches Association and the United States Swim School Association, we agree that the ability to swim300 yards nonstop dramatically lowers the possibility of ever drowning. How far can your child swim without stopping?
  2. Confidence. By gaining new knowledge, setting goals and accomplishing these goals, children learn to be confident in their capabilities. They develop and “I can” attitude and learn that if they set their minds to achieve something, they can do it. This instills confidence in children, and it shows!
  3. Discipline. While enjoying the water, students also learn important life skills through their participation in the sport, including self-discipline, work ethic, commitment, goal setting and how to overcome challenges. As a result, studies show that swimmers do better in school and work, in general terms, than non-swimmers as a group.
  4. Social Skills. Through swim lessons, children have fun learning, competing, training and being with friends. They learn how to interact with other children and to be part of a class or team at a young age.
  5. Physical Fitness. Swimming is both conditioning-intensive and skill-intensive. It builds endurance, muscle strength, soothes the mind, regulates breathing and stimulates circulation – all without stress on the joints. Plus, swimming has a calorie burning potential of 350 to 420 calories per hour!

Joining a swim program is a healthy and wholesome activity available year-round for your children to enhance their overall fitness.

July 30, 2010 at 9:49 am 1 comment

Summer Fun, Swim Safety

I was recently featured in SA Living to speak about summer water safety! I really want parents to realize how important it is that their children learn how to swim. When children who are not able to swim are in or around water, they require constant supervision! You can’t take your eyes off of them to answer the phone, get the door, or grab a quick glass of water. Many parents don’t realize just how quickly a child’s life can be put in danger.

As temperatures rise this summer, many families will head to neighborhood pools, nearby lakes or, until the oil arrives, the Texas coast. Before you take a dip, however, take some safety precautions to protect your children.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death in children from age 1 to 4 and the second-leading cause in kids 1 to 14, after car and transportation-related accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Texas last year, 105 children drowned.

The main cause of childhood drowning is simply that many children are not taught how to swim, according to Mary Reilly-Magee, owner of Love to Swim and Tumble School, which has locations on Huebner Road and in Schertz.

“People turn their heads and think they will hear something to alert them that their child is drowning. But kids can drown without a sound,” says Reilly-Magee, who also is president-elect of the U.S. Swim School Association. “You can’t take your eyes off of them for a second.” Continue Reading >>

July 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

How to Prepare Your Baby for Successful Swim Lessons

Babies SwimmingI read an awesome article in “Raising Arizona Kids” about how to prepare your babies for swim lessons. Children must master four skills to be able to swim: submersion, buoyancy, balance and breath control. It’s the job of aquatic educators to teach these skills with a progressive approach and to remove the fear that some children may have regarding the water.

In this article, my friend Kathy Hubbard provides tips for parents that will help prepare babies for the sensations they will experience during swim class so they are less likely to be fearful in the pool:

  1. Shower early and often with children. They learn to ignore the splashing and become conditioned to holding their breath as the water hits their head. Start by letting the water splash over the baby’s back. Next time, let the water spray the back of the head, and then splash over the head, and eventually cover the face. This is a gradual process you can do at home!
  2. Take them in the tub with you. Newborns and babies up to about 6 months old can get in the tub with you and practice floating. To help a baby float on his or her back, hold the baby behind the shoulders and cup the head so the baby can’t turn his or her mouth into the water. This is really fun for babies! Some “startle” with their arms and legs, and others lie peacefully as you sway them in the water.
  3. Get water on their faces. When babies are old enough to sit on their own, drag a damp washcloth from the back of the head, over the head and across the eyes, nose and mouth areas three times in a row, until the child doesn’t startle. Use a sprinkling can or a soaked washclogh to drizzle water ver the child’s head on the count of three.
  4. Blow bubbles. This helps babies learn that they are in control of their breath. Teach children to blow bubbles on the cue of “one, two, three, blow!”. Try long bubbles, slow bubbles, quiet bubbles, and other variations to teach them to relax. Start with their nose above water, then move to nose below water, then gradually move to eyes under water.
  5. Allow children to trust their buoyancy. fill the tub until the water is under their armpits as they sit, so they can feel the water lift them. If they begin to slide under, sit them back up. Let them explore the bottom of the tub with their face in the water. Place toys on the bottom Soon your child will be spending tub time on his ot her tummy, face in the water!

These are great tips for getting your babies ready to swim! Getting a head start on learning to trust their buoyancy and the water will help them swim better in the future. Hooray for the Mommies and Daddies that take swim lessons with their babies!

July 7, 2010 at 10:44 am 1 comment

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