What is the Baby & Me Program?
The parents are in the water with their babies, which form a group class. Starting at 13 weeks and healthy, a baby learns to relax and adapt to the water environment. Both, parents and babies learn together as they experience learning how to hold their breath and go under water, we learn the beginning stages of a back float, and all about kicking! Through movement and singing, we have fun socializing with other babies and parents! It is an excellent pre-requisite class for the Water Safety & Survival program.
What is the Water Safety & Survival Program?
Water Safety & Survival is our exclusive proven method of teaching infants, toddlers and young children how to roll over to an independent back float – to stop, rest and breathe (think about what just happened) then, flip over to swim to safety – the wall, mommy’s hands, the stairs etc. A child also learns several other survival techniques such as learning to swim with their eyes open underwater, how to swim back to the stairs, jump in – float, and get back to the wall. It is extremely important for a child learn how to stay calm to know what to do in the event of an aquatic incident, rather than rely on adult supervision, or the lack thereof. Accidents happen…even with the best intended parental supervision. A child that learns key survival skills (early on) has a much better chance at saving themselves in a real-life drowning incident. The initial program is a mandatory 12-week session. After the 12-weeks, students move into an advanced continuing education program and continues long-term.
Practice makes perfect! Swimming is NOT something that you can check off the box and complete. From infancy, children are always in a major growth mode. Their bodies are constantly having to realign with their center of gravity. In short, their old float doesn’t go with their new size. At Swim Otters, it is highly recommended that children continue in a weekly skill & confidence building lesson that will continually refresh his/her water skills naturally! Our “Once a Weeker Tweeker Program” lesson is designed for a child (6 months – 3 years) to master their skills, development new skills and work on self-esteem, once a week! This is a lifelong skill we’re working on, not just a passing fancy! It will take time to perfect your child’s skills. Just like piano or dance lessons, it takes time to be great! Consistency and continuity are extremely important. Children (3 years – 12 years) also continue in our “Stroke Development Program“. It is here they move on through all of the strokes (including the back stroke, freestyle, butterfly and breast stroke). They also continue to practice their water safety & survival skills and build confidence in the water.
Why should I consider enrolling my child in this program?
Voted by parents, the absolute BEST swim program in the State of Colorado. Our swimming lessons teach children how to swim with results in weeks, not years! Every child should be enrolled in this life-saving program, especially if you enjoy swimming and take vacations around beaches, lakes, pools, hot tubs, ponds, etc. Teaching young children survival swimming skills helps to protect them from a dangerous environment in their early years and leads to a lifetime enjoyment of the water. Swimming classes at an early age enhances motor skill development, increases lung capacity and develops a healthy circulation system. The exercise is ideal and has proven to help the immune system.
How do I protect my child from drowning?
Swimming year-round is the BEST way to protect your child from the very real danger of the water. Year-round swimmers retain a healthy respect for the water and build skills way beyond those of seasonal swimmers. Drowning is not only a summer danger. Open water, jacuzzies and even covered swimming pools can all be hazards. Drowning is the number one cause of death for children who have autism and are welcome at Swim Otters.
Why start at such an early age?
In traditional swimming classes for babies the child is taught to “swim to mommy” and are fun, but the child does not realize that “mommy” is the one holding and protecting the child. They are often encouraged as how to have fun. The child gets a false sense of security – they think they can swim. Drownings occur when the child attempts to swim without the parent, not understanding that they do not have the water safety skills to do it. It is the same thing with armbands and other floatation devices: we send the wrong message to our children by making them “think” they are safe and can swim. Babies who learn proper breath control (not blowing bubbles), the survival roll and back float, have both, a healthy respect and love for swimming. Babies are stronger and more self-confident in everything they do!
Are there other long-term benefits?
Scientific studies of infant swimming in Germany have shown that the early stimulation develops the child in three key areas – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Compared with a group that did not swim year-round, the children who swam consistently from infancy were significantly stronger and more coordinated. The muscles developed in a process exactly like physical therapy enabled the children to excel at all physical activities and was not limited to swimming. The children scored higher for intelligence and problem solving, which carried over into excellence and alertness in school. Emotionally, the children who swam year-round were found to be more self-disciplined and to have the motivation and confidence to succeed. From consistent goal setting, learning, and achievement, they rated high in self-respect.