Like many others, our lives and sense of normalcy have been upended. We have spent so much (maybe too much) time with our loved ones going stir crazy. Thankfully, and with correct precautions, we are excited to be back to business as usual! However, many of our students have been out of the water for over two months. What will swim lessons look like now? Since May is water safety month, here’s a list of things to expect when your child gets back in the water:
- Regression. For the first few lessons back, you may be wondering why your child’s instructor is taking things slow. You might think, “hey, I’m pretty sure we’ve already covered this.” In order to ensure the safety of your child, our instructors are going to ease back into swimming. This means we will be assessing your child’s level before moving on to new learning. Do not worry, most children will get the hang of things fairly quickly!
- New Learning. Once your child’s instructor is confident in their student’s skills, they will move on to new material. Thanks to our new facility, you will be able to clearly see what is going on in lessons.
- Levels Repeated. As previously mentioned, our instructors will be re-assessing their student’s skills. This may mean that levels may have to be reconquered. For example, your child may have passed level 5 before the two and a half months off, but is now closer to a level 4. Your instructor will build back the skills needed to return to a level 5 and continue new learning.
It is important to us to ensure the safety of your children around water. Swimming lessons are statistically shown to lower the risk of drowning by 88%. A drowning can occur anywhere a child is left unsupervised around water, even places you might not expect, like a toilet. It takes less than 3 inches of water for a drowning to occur. Here are some precautions you can take in your household:
- Designate a water watcher. Many of us have backyard pools or frequent lakes. It is vital to have a ‘water watcher’, which is a person who is strictly overseeing those around the water. That means absolutely no distractions, no phones, no alcoholic beverages. Please see our office staff to receive a water watcher bracelet.
- Use appropriate lifejackets in open water. We preach getting in the water with your kids when in swimming pools and enrolling in swim lessons, but there is certainly a time for flotation devices when you are going to be at a lake, river, or ocean. Our across the board recommendation for floaties would be to put your child in a coast guard approved life jacket. We discourage the use of water wings or puddle jumpers, as they enforce incorrect head orientation. Puddle jumpers give your child a false sense of security in the water.
We ask that you follow these precautions not only this summer, but also year round. Water safety is not just important in May, a drowning can occur at any time around water. Please be careful but also have fun! We are incredibly happy to have all our swimmers back in the pool and we hope to see you there, too!
Written by Kat Janzen, OSA Instructor