CERTIFIED INFANT AQUATIC SURVIVAL INSTRUCTOR
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. WHAT IS INFANT AQUATICS CT AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SWIMMING PROGRAMS?
The primary focus of Infant Aquatics CT is to teach your 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. S/He 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.
2. IF MY CHILD IS UNDER A YEAR OLD, WHAT WILL S/HE BE ABLE TO LEARN?
Children 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. Infant Aquatics CT highly recommends survival training when your infant can roll well from belly to back (face down to face up) on dry land. When fully skilled with the survival float, infants can move directly into a group Aquababies class with their parent and instructor.
3. IF MY CHILD IS OVER A YEAR OLD, WHAT WILL S/HE BE ABLE TO LEARN?
Children 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 his predicament, he will roll over onto his 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. When fully skilled with the swim-float-swim sequence, toddlers and older children can move directly into a group Aquababies or FunDay class with their instructor.
4. 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.
5. WHAT FURTHER LESSONS WILL MY CHILD NEED?
Upon completion of private lessons, all students are encouraged to join a group class for retention, enjoyment and skill enhancement. Continuing attendance in a group class will ensure retention of the basic survival skills learned in private lessons. More importantly, it will give your child a boost in self-confidence and give your instructor an opportunity to fine tune skills to help your child feel productive in the water. While no swimming program can make your child “drown proof,” the retention rate is significantly increased if skills are properly maintained. Best of all, our group classes are FUN!
6. WHAT IS THE COST OF LESSONS?
Since each pool charges a different rental rate, the cost of lessons depends upon the location. Please contact me directly via email for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. The one-time non-refundable registration fee is $100.00 for the first child, and $80 for siblings registered at the same time. This includes the required swim diaper and wet suit for all children under 4 years of age.
7. 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, depending on the student/teacher ratio, 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 timeframe involved, in addition to the price.
8. 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 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 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.
9. IS THERE A SIBLING DISCOUNT?
Yes, there is a $20 discount off the registration fee for siblings registered at the same time.
10. WILL MY CHILD BE DROWN-PROOF?
No. Nobody can ever drown-proof your child. Be leary 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. The goal of Infant Aquatics CT and the team at The Kids' Swim Whisperer is to provide your child with these life-saving skills.
11. DO YOU ALLOW THE PARENTS TO BE IN THE WATER DURING THE LESSONS?
Parents of 1-year olds are invited and encouraged to be in the pool with children during initial lessons. We have found that in-water participation with this age group gives parents valuable experience and added comfort, while resulting in happier students who learn to swim in less time. I recommend that parents wear a bathing suit and get in for the first day or two. One-year olds seem to be more upset about leaving their mothers than anything else, so if a parent is in the pool, it alleviates some of the anxiety associated with being in a strange environment with a strange person. The same is not true, however, for infants under 1 year and children over 2-years old. Bringing a parent in the water with younger infants (6-12 months) and children over the age of 2 typically impedes the learning process. Teaching younger infants breath control with parents in the water is actually more difficult. It's also challenging to peel a two-year old off the parent, so I usually recommend waiting until we get older children swimming before bringing parents into the water. Once children are fully skilled, they will move on to parent-child group classes (Aquababies), FunDay group classes, or directly into a Strokes N' Floats group class.
12. 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.
13. WHY DON'T YOU TEACH INFANTS UNDER THE AGE OF 6 MONTHS?
Children under the age of 6 months are not developmentally mature enough to benefit from Infant Aquatics CT instruction. If an infant cannot roll well from belly to back (face down to face up) on dry land, they will not be able to perform that sequence in the water.
14. WHAT ARE GROUP MAINTENANCE LESSONS AND WHY ARE THEY NECESSARY?
All new students are required to complete basic survival skills private lessons to be eligible to participate in group classes. Continuing attendance in a group class is an essential component of the aquatic learning process. Not only does it ensure retention of the basic survival skills learned in private lessons, but it also allows children to progress and improve their swimming. Best of all, our group classes are FUN! Parents accompany their babies and toddlers for the Aquababies class, while children over 30 months join the FunDays class, where they are exposed to an exciting array of water toys, floats and activies to enhance swimming and floating skills. If you opt for group maintenance lessons (Aquababies, FunDay, or Strokes N' Floats) throughout the year, refresher lessons might not be necessary. If your child falls behind in group classes, private refresher lessons will be given at no charge.
15. WHAT ARE REFRESHER LESSONS AND WHEN ARE THEY NECESSARY?
Babies need refreshers not because they will forget their skills, but because they outgrow them. Particularly during the first two years, rapid growth causes a shift in a baby’s center of gravity, affecting his ability to float. Refreshers, are similar to a well-baby pediatric check-up; they allow your instructor to re-adjust the float position and keep your child’s swimming skills sharp. Your child will likely lose his self-confidence if he is out of the water for even a short time. Experience indicates that children 12 months and older who participate in our group classes immediately following initial lessons and continue for a year seldom require refresher lessons. However, without the opportunity to swim with our instructors, you may find that your child will cry, cling and refuse to use his skills. DON’T PANIC! He has not forgotten his skills. After refresher lessons, his skills will be restored. Children have many fears, some of which stem from a lack of confidence. During refresher lessons, they will soon regain the needed confidence and know they CAN do it! Have patience.
16. WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS A MEDICAL CONDITION?
If you believe your child has any medical condition that might reasonably affect his/her safe participation in lessons, please explain the condition to Infant Aquatics CT 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.
17. WHAT ABOUT FLOTATION DEVICES AND LIFE JACKETS?
Flotation devices give children a false sense of security and hold them in postures that are not compatible with swimming skills. If a child wearing or using a flotation device learns that s/he can jump into the water and go into a vertical posture allowing him/her to breathe, s/he is getting the wrong idea about how to stay safe. Flotation devices are for children who cannot swim. 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.
18. 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. Because of heavy scheduling, we are unable to offer make-up lessons. 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 your instructor if this should occur.
19. WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR EATING/DRINKING/RESTING BEFORE AND AFTER LESSONS?
DO NOT FEED YOUR CHILD FOR TWO HOURS BEFORE HIS LESSON. DO NOT ALLOW FRUIT, VEGETABLES, MEAT OR MILK PRODUCTS FOR SIX HOURS BEFORE THE LESSON. (THIS INCLUDES FORMULA, MILK, EGGS, CHEESE AND YOGURT). Breast milk, Rice Dream, toast and cereal (without fruit or nuts) may be given two hours before a lesson. Some children swallow a lot of air and some water during the lessons. When the stomach is distended, the muscles tighten up across the abdomen, and a child will burp. If there is food in the stomach when this happens, the food will come out with the air and the child will spit up in the pool. The pool filtration system will clear the pool quickly, so if this happens to your child, do not be
frightened or distressed. This happens to some children regardless and is not anything to worry about, but controlling feedings just before the lessons will help. You can usually expect an increase in appetite and longer naps as a result of this exercise. Please allow for good naps and try to avoid going shopping right after a lesson.
20. WHAT SHOULD I BUY PRIOR TO LESSONS AND/OR BRING EACH DAY?
Please plan to arrive about 15-minutes prior to your lesson and remember to bring two towels for each child. The first towel is used to dry off immediately upon leaving the pool. It can also be placed on the floor of the changing rooms to avoid puddles collecting and to prevent falls. The second towel is to keep your child warm while they are relaxing after swimming. Our swim diapers are required for all children under the age of 4 years (even if they are fully potty trained), as well as any child who is not 100% potty trained, and are the only ones allowed in the pool. Our wetsuits are also required for all students under 4 years of age enrolled in group classes. A single swim diaper and wetsuit are included in the registration fee. I will bring the ordered size on the first day of lessons. When your child outgrows those items, additional swim diapers and wetsuits are available for purchase.
21. ARE THERE MAKE-UP LESSONS FOR ILLNESS & VACATIONS?
GROUP: Prior to your child beginning group lessons, you are expected to pay for the entire session. With this procedure, you do not pay tuition on a weekly basis. If you have paid for the time, then it is yours. Heavy scheduling makes it impossible to offer make-up lessons. However, options are available. 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. We offer one free FUNDAY or AQUABABIES class for children who have missed lessons, provided that the parents find an opening in a class (not to exceed 4 students) with children of similar age and skill set.
PRIVATES: One-on-one survival swimming lessons are paid on a weekly basis. There is a 6-week program of 10-minute lessons (4-weeks for just floaters), or a 3-week program of 20-minute lessons. If you know your child is going to be ill for an extended period of time or if 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. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule. If, however, a child is ill for just a day or two, most parents choose to have their spot held. If you choose to have your spot held, please understand that since your instructor is standing idle in the water, you will be charged for those lessons.
I encourage you and your children to come and meet me and observe lessons in progress. Please call me so that I may tell you when you may watch a child who is close in age to your own. I also have hundreds of families who would be more than happy to speak with you directly about their child’s lessons and about their experiences working with me. Once again, thank you for your interest. I invite you to join caring parents nationally who have made the decision to give their children the finest aquatic survival skills in the world!
Feel free to call me with any additional questions or concerns about your child or the program at (203) 795-9600 or e-mail me at email@example.com.