The growth in Adult and Child classes and organisations providing them has been exponential over the last 10 years and there is a considerable amount of spin and misinformation concerning them. Floaters has included these classes as an integral part of its programme structure since its formation in 1992 and has developed KET methods that give the Babies and Toddlers solid foundations upon which to learn to swim.
Some things to think about:
- Starting swimming from birth is NOT necessary. Whilst babies do have an inherent reflexo close their airways learned from being in the womb, this soon goes and does not give them a lasting benefit. Starting them at 4 to 6 months is quite soon enough.
- Whilst swimming pools are not inherently unhygienic (it is worth visiting the pool you are intending to take your baby to, to see how clean it is), why expose your newborn to unnecessary risk as soon as it is born?. Wait until they have had their inoculations and most importantly have a robust head and neck so that they can be handled safely.
- Submersion is NOT necessary. Many organisations have submersion as the foundation of their teaching “philosophy” and more often than not their adverts show a baby floating underwater as an inducement. (See photo above). Dunking underwater does not suit all babies and toddlers and for some it can be traumatic enough to severely delay proper acclimatization to water. Moreover it is a testing operation for the parent, who may not be all that happy to do it themselves!!. Most importantly however, the aim is to get children to swim on top of the water, not underneath it. Children have plenty of time to discover the thrill of the deep later and once they do, they will want to be there as much as possible. It is really hard to teach a child to swim on top of the water when they spend all their time under the surface!!.
- Preparation for learning to swim and having a joined up route to move onto is critical. It is impossible for an organisation that ONLY teaches pre-school children, to prepare them for ongoing lessons – there are too many different approaches out there – they can’t cover all the bases! Floaters in one of the few organisations that have a seamless programme all the way through to Pre-Competitive teaching.
- Giving Awards to babies is NOT necessary: They are too young to understand the significance.
- Choose your provider carefully, do not fall for the hype and the inflated charges!