Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Survival Swimming and how is it different from other swimming programs?
The primary focus of Little Waves Swim Academy is to teach your infant or child to become a productive swimmer or floater in any depth of water. As a result of his/her instruction, your child will become a skilled survival floater or swim-float-swimmer in just weeks—not years. These skills will greatly increase your child's chance of surviving an aquatic accident, even fully clothed! We are different because we 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. This is perfectly normal for children. 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. Once a child has accomplished a skill, they will want to do it again and again. They will feel 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.
If my child is under a year old, what will they be able to learn?
Infants between the ages of 6 to 12 months old are taught to roll over (from face down to face up) and maintain a float position in the event of an accidental fall into the water. Teaching your infant to float takes approximately 4 weeks (or about 16 lessons). Private 10-minute lessons are held 4 days per week, Monday through Thursday. Fully-skilled infants can maintain a float in a bathing suit or in clothing. Little Waves Swim Academy highly recommends survival training when your infant can roll well from belly to back (face down to face up) on dry land .
If my child is over a year old, what will s/he be able to learn?
Infants over the age of one year are taught to swim with their faces in the water, and when they sense the need for air, to roll over to their back and float. After resting and catching their breath, they flip over and continue to swim to the nearest point of safety. A child can perform this swim - float - swim sequence to safely reach their point of entry into the water in a survival situation. Children can also perform this sequence in their clothes. If a child does not see a way out of their predicament, they will roll over onto their back and maintain a floating position. This buys the parent time in the event of an accident. This same sequence is most often used for fun at the pool! The confidence and self-esteem of these young swimmers is truly amazing! Teaching your 12-month to 6-year old will take approximately 3-6 weeks (or about 12-24 lessons). Private 10-minute lessons are held 4 days per week, Monday through Thursday, for those children under 4 years old. Private 20-minute lessons are held 4 days per week, Monday through Thursday, for those children over 4 years old.
What is the Parent’s role?
We encourage parents of baby’s and toddlers to get in the water for the first few lessons so that your child will experience less stranger and separation anxiety. Our goal for children of all ages is to establish a relationship of trust between your child and the instructor. Once this occurs, your child will learn to trust themselves in the water and real progress begins. During the final week, parents learn how to swim with their children and how to help them maintain and enhance their new skills.
Are swimming lessons for infants and small children safe?
YES! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends swimming and/or survival lessons for children as young as 1-year old.
Why Little Waves Swim Academy?
Children are naturally drawn to pools, hot tubs, lakes, ponds, streams, reservoirs and beaches. Despite a parent’s best efforts at supervision, it only takes one head turn before an accident has occurred. Teach your baby or toddler how to survive and rescue themselves.
Roll over breathing is a technique that many schools and learn-to-swim teachers don’t even attempt because it takes time, skill and patience. But once children learn to roll over to float, relax and breathe whenever air is needed, they can truly swim, stay afloat, conquer fear and experience the joy of swimming.
Why are your lessons more expensive than others?
These lessons are actually not more expensive. First, please remember that these are all private lessons. Instead of your child being one of many our lessons are one-on-one with your child and the teacher being the only ones in the water. Second, with our undivided attention, your child will have a fighting chance to survive an accidental fall into the water, along with the fundamental skills to safely enjoy the water in just 3-6 weeks. Most other programs don't teach survival floating at all and could take 3-6 years to teach basic swimming skills. No other program can come close to what we can teach your child in a matter of weeks. We encourage you to shop around, but compare the results achieved and the time frame involved, in addition to the price.
Why are your lessons only 10 minutes long?
Every lesson is progressive and builds off the previous lesson and your child will have the undivided attention of the instructor. We know that children learn best with short, yet effective lessons that are consistent. Every lesson they are learning something new, so they will never be stagnant in their skills. We also like to end the lesson before any fatigue sets in.
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 parents and caregivers will go a long way in reassuring a reluctant child. You will see that as skills are developed, your infant or child will settle into the lesson routine and may very well begin to enjoy his/her newfound skills. Our instructors use a variety of methods so that each child gains trust in the instructor and in the lesson process. We believe no infant or 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 that they have yet to master. These cries are very different than a fearful cry and our instructors are in-tune to those differences. It is important for parents to offer enthusiastic support, not sympathy, for their child’s efforts and hard work.
Will my child be drown-proof?
No. Nobody can ever drown-proof your child. Be wary of any program that advertises they can. However, children who possess basic survival swimming skills have a significantly higher chance of surviving an accidental and unsupervised fall into the water.
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 has a medical condition?
If you believe your infant or child has any medical condition that might reasonably affect their safe participation in lessons, please explain the condition to Little Waves Swim Academy prior to enrolling in lessons. If you are aware of or suspect that your child has a pre-existing medical condition, written clearance to swim from your child's physician must be provided before lessons begin.
What about flotation devices and life jacket?
Flotation devices give children a false sense of security and hold them in postures that are not compatible with swimming skills. If an infant or child wearing or using a flotation device learns that they can jump into the water and go into a vertical posture allowing them to breathe, they are getting the wrong idea about how to stay safe. Flotation devices are for children who cannot swim. Infants or children who cannot swim should not be allowed to learn that it is safe to play in the water while relying on a crutch. Life jackets must be worn in a boat or around the water when there is the potential for an accidental submersion. They are not a substitute for the ability to swim or for adult supervision.
What if we are late or miss a lesson?
Swimming lessons are approximately 10 minutes in length, four days per week, Monday through Thursday, for children under 4 years of age, and 20 minutes in length, four days per week, Monday through Thursday, for children over the age of 4. Since your lessons are short, it is helpful if you arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled time. This allows sufficient time to have your child ready to go into the water (without rushing) at the scheduled time. If you are late, the instructor will try to fit you in whenever possible, but your lesson time might be shortened. Consistency is a very important ingredient of the program. Steady attendance will increase your child’s rate of progress. If you find you have a conflict on a certain day, it may be possible to make advance arrangements with another parent to switch your lesson time. Sometimes it may be possible to add you to the end of the instructor’s schedule. Please talk with Mrs. Krissy if this should occur.
What are the rules for eating/drinking before and after lessons?
Please do not allow your child to eat 2 hours prior to lessons, no dairy 4 hours and meat 6 hours. Best foods to eat 2 hours prior to lessons are carbohydrates/Rice milk/water.
What should my child wear?
For children that are still wearing diapers they should wear a reusable swim diaper (Happy Nappy Brand preferred) Disposable diapers are not effective enough. Older children who are potty trained can wear a swim suit.