Taking your children to swimming and water safety lessons should be a stress-free activity. Here are some tips to make your lessons valuable and an enjoyable experience for you and your child.
- Prior to your child’s first swimming lesson at a new pool, take them to the pool for a play-swim. Your child will feel more relaxed in the water if they are more familiar with their surroundings.
- Observe the swimming lessons they will participate in and where possible introduce your child to their instructor.
- If your child is not used to wearing swimwear, a swim cap and goggles, have a dress rehearsal at home. Feeling comfortable in their swimwear will make for a more relaxed child come lesson day.
- Arrive at the facility early with a relaxed, positive mindset particularly if swimming lessons are a new experience. Your child will feel calm, secure and ready to learn.
- Organise a swimming bag for your child containing everything that you think they might need. A good place to start is by packing a towel, swimwear, goggles, swim cap, swim nappies (if required), a set of warm, dry clothes and a healthy snack for afterwards. It is also a good idea to keep a spare pair of goggles handy just in case!
- Goggles - Purchase a good quality pair of anti-fog googles that fit correctly. You should look for a good seal around your child's eye socket. Adjust the headband and nose piece before your child gets into the pool. It is important however, that children experience swimming without goggles. When visiting the pool leisurely, encourage your child to remove their goggles for short periods at a time to enable them to get used to swimming without them.
- Swim caps have a number of benefits which include keeping your child’s head warm, acting to keep water out of your child’s ears, keeps your child’s hair tucked in and helps your child move through the water more easily, by decreasing resistance. In some Swim Schools, wearing a swim cap is compulsory for hygiene reasons.
- Take your child to the toilet prior to the start of the lesson to avoid accidents and minimise disruptions during the lesson.
- Poolside safety - Encourage your child to walk to and from the designated lesson area and enter and exit the pool safely. Wet tiles are slippery and activity equipment around the pool can present a trip hazard.
- Watching your child’s lesson is encouraged, but try to minimise interfering with the lesson. This can be confusing for your child, distracting other children in the class and can disrupt the flow of the lesson.
- Recognising your child’s achievements on the way home, makes children smile and ends the lesson on a positive note. ‘I saw you put your whole face in the water today, that was fantastic! I can’t wait to tell Dad!’
- It is best to reschedule your lesson if your child has been unwell. Your child’s learning potential is diminished when they are not feeling themselves.
SWIMMING LESSONS IN WINTER
There are many benefits to participating in swimming lessons during winter. In many cases, winter is one of the best times of the year to swim! Classes tend to be smaller which reduces the child to teacher ratio. Your child is more likely to progress further if they continue to practice and build upon the skills that they have already learnt during the warmer months. Be mindful that it can be hard to re-establish the swimming lesson routine if your child has had a significant break from lessons.
In the cooler months, it is a good idea to encourage your children to have a hot shower following their lessons and remember to dry and dress your children appropriately. It is not recommended to leave the swim centre wrapped in a wet towel or swimwear.
Concerns in relation to your child’s participation in a program should be directly taken up with your Swim School. Your Swim School is directly responsible for the delivery, staffing and administration of the swimming and water safety program at your chosen facility.