Learn to Swim Programs for Kids

learn-to-swim-programs-4-kidsSchool is back in session, the temperatures are still high, and the kids need activities to keep them moving. Summer has past, but there is still no time like the present for your children to learn to swim. This skill is a critical one, especially for anyone living here on the Gulf Coast of Florida. We are surrounded by water and children come in close proximity to large bodies of water on almost a daily basis. Without key survival skills and comfort with aquatic scenarios, kids are at risk of accidental drowning. The CDC reports that unintentional drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects). Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.

Like most other things, learning how to swim is easiest at a young age, before bad habits and fears can be ingrained too deeply to overcome. There are many great programs and camps that kids can attend—below are a couple local programs.

Sarasota Swim Academy offers “Learn to Swim” lessons at Arlington Park and Aquatic Center, which is located at 2650 Waldemere Street in Sarasota.  On their website, they state, “As soon as your child is capable of independent motion, they are capable of getting into water and drowning. Therefore, water conditioning and water adaptation lessons should begin as early as 1 week old or as soon as possible.” This may come as a shock to many parents, who may have assumed they had more time before having yet another safety concern to add to the list. This is why Sarasota Swim Academy has their water conditioning and water adaptation programs. This will help acclimate your baby to water and get him or her comfortable as early as possible, creating a positive association with water for life.

Sarasota Swim Academy’s learn to swim lessons are for children already comfortable in the water and comfortable moving and walking in the water without assistance. If this is not the case, they offer Water Smart, a skill building class. One thing they are adamant about is that they do not consider swimming under the water and doggy paddling to be real ‘swimming.’ They use a high standard meant to keep people of all ages safe and to save lives. The focus is on proper air exchange and breath control, as studies have found that humans can only swim about 200 yards without breathing effectively. Sarasota Swim Academy only considers someone a true swimmer when they can swim 300 yards non-stop, and swim 6 different styles of swimming.

For more information on class availabilities and cost, call 941-928-9948 or email coachcindy@sarasotaswimacademy.org.

School of Fish (SOF) is an excellent place for children and adults of all ages to learn how to swim.  Their mission is to help learn critical survival skills, develop safe swimming habits and a healthy respect for water. They do this through teaching techniques on developing skills that are commensurate with their swimming performance goals.  School of Fish thrives to get people to participate in activities that contribute to a achieving a lifetime of well-being. In addition to safety and skill development, SOF strives to create an enriching experience by optimizing the instructor-to-student ratio.  They offer cost-effective group classes and delivers an appropriate level of direct instruction for participants at different skill levels.

For more information on class availabilities and costs, you can go to their website SchoolOfFishSwimmingLesson.vpweb.com, call 941-907-8482 or email MJBHaus@aol.com.

Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) is another great resource, especially for younger children and babies, is the drowning prevention program offered by Sarasota Swim Kids, located at 1044 Tocobaga Lane in Sarasota. The Infant Swimming Resource, with its trademarked Self-Rescue program, has been nationally recognized as one of the safest providers of survival swimming lessons for infants and young children. The focus is primarily on safety and effectiveness, and it is the world’s leading behavioral science based instructional program.

Teaching drowning prevention techniques in addition to actual swimming lessons is what separates ISR from other programs. ISR’s network of highly qualified, Certified Instructors has given over seven million safe and successful lessons to infants and young children around the world. This has led to nearly 800 documented cases of a child using ISR’s survival techniques to save their own lives. Your child will learn these techniques from a well-trained instructor that will customize your child’s lessons based on their emotional, physical, and cognitive abilities. This will allow them to enjoy the water this summer and for the rest of their lives with competence and confidence.

For more information on class availabilities and costs, call 941-720-1586 or send an email to v.varnadore@infantswim.com.