What is Swim Survival Safety™?

Every baby, toddler and preschooler is taught the  life saving maneuver of rolling to their back and floating unassisted until help can arrive.

WHAT IS SWIM SURVIVAL SAFETY™?

Swim Survival Safety™ is the SWIMBABES™ foundation of our swimming school.  We will teach your infant, toddler or preschooler to turn over and float independently in case of an accidental topple or walk  to the water.  Most infants can learn this skill in 14-16 lessons, most toddlers in 10-12 lessons and most preschoolers in 4-8 lessons.

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM OTHER SWIMMING LESSONS FOR BABIES, TODDLERS AND PRESCHOOLERS?

If faced with an unexpected fall in to the water, how will your baby, toddler or preschooler react? Panic? or Problem solve?
This is the first goal of Swim Survival Safety™. Swim Survival Safety™can be defined as Aquatic Problem Solving.
Every baby, toddler and preschooler is taught the life saving maneuver of rolling to their back and floating unassisted until help can arrive to them. This becomes their automated response to finding themselves unexpectedly in the water or suddenly in water over their heads.

WILL MY CHILD BE DROWN PROOF?

No.  No person of any age is ever drown proof.  Anyone can drown depending on the situation at hand and the experience and skill of the swimmer.  Survival Safety will give your child the best chance of saving themselves in an emergency water situation.  We have had many self rescue stories related to us after children have completed our survival lessons.  However, we always recommend all layers of protection: Supervision, Fencing, Pool Alarms, Locks on Gates, and all children learning how to swim.

IF MY CHILD TAKES LESSONS AS AN INFANT, WILL HE REMEMBER HOW TO SWIM LATER?

Swimming is a motor skill.  Like any motor skill it takes consistent practice to get better at it.  All babies, toddlers and preschoolers are recommended to be in weekly lessons until they have mastered swimming 3-4 strokes at least 40 feet.  This is generally 4-5 years of consistent lessons.  If your child learns how to turn over and float as an infant, but you don’t stay with lessons, or take long breaks (more than 2 months) your child will have to go through a re learning process when they return.  In addition, if you choose to break from lessons and your child does not practice, your child may not be able to perform their self rescue turn and float as they did while in lessons.  We cannot emphasize enough how important it is that children remain in weekly lessons until they are STRONG swimmers.   Children’s bodies grow very quickly and their point of balance changes with growth.  They must be continually in the water and practicing to accommodate for these shifts in growth.   NEVER assume your child will be able to save himself because he has taken a few months of classes.  It takes much time, effort and consistency to ensure your child is a strong and safe swimmer.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MY CHILD TO LEARN TO DO THIS?

Young babies generally take about 12-14 lessons to learn the initial turn over and float to the count of 10, toddlers about 10-12 lessons and preschoolers around 4-8 lessons.  The turn and float is just the beginning of learning to swim!

ONCE THEY CAN DO THIS SKILL, WHAT DO THEY LEARN NEXT?

From this basic skill, all other skills are then added. Babies and Toddlers then learn to float a full 5 minutes fully clothed and unassisted. Accidental falls almost always happen fully clothed and is very different from being in the water in a swimming suit. Preschoolers learn to swim 40 feet on their backs fully clothed and to safety.

DO YOU TEACH OTHER SKILLS BESIDES SURVIVAL?

Yes. Survival is just the basis for all skills. Toddlers are capable of learning to swim/float/ swim across the pool. And many of our babies or toddlers and have continued in lessons, are often swimming 2 or 3 basic strokes by age 2.5 and can often swim 20-40 feet unassisted and getting air on their own. By age 4-5, most who have continued are swimming lessons with us can swim 4 strokes 25 yards and many are ready for swim team if they so choose.

WHAT AGE IS THE BEST AGE TO START?

With almost 70 years in teaching survival methods to infants/toddlers and preschoolers, we can without hesitation say “the younger the better.” Infants who cannot yet walk or sit up are easier to teach than older babies, and babies are easier to teach than toddlers. Personality also plays a key factor in learning this skill. Strong willed infants/toddlers and preschoolers take a bit longer to teach than the more compliant child. Often, parents see their first true glimpses of their infant’s overall temperament when they get in the water with their baby. This provides valuable information for the parent as their baby grows and learns.

SO, HOW DO THESE LESSONS DIFFER FROM OTHER LESSONS?

The main difference is that we are teaching children how to solve real life aquatic problems: what do I do if I fall in the water? Traditional lessons for babies, toddlers and preschoolers have goals of comfort, breath holding and possibly motoring forward. A few even teach a “u-turn” back to the wall which is a valuable skill, but only solves one aquatic problem when there is a wall and the child is close enough to it to swim back. (what happens then if they fall in a pond or lake or in a pool with a ledge too high to grab? … A dock is too high to grab and falling in to an unfamiliar waterway can be very disorienting.) However, the vast majority of these programs do not ask the child to solve any aquatic problem at all. In traditional lessons, the adult solves all the problems by picking the child up to breathe or doing the swimming for them. Therefore, the child has great comfort and fun in the water, but has no true problem solving skills. These can be very dangerous children around water.

Traditional swimming lessons, even if started as a baby can often take a child 3-4 years of weekly lessons before they had any chance of saving themselves in a water emergency. Within that learning timeframe and BEFORE they can actually swim or survive on their own, they are a danger to themselves: most love the water yet have no true skills to survive in it. Sadly, many traditional type lessons reinforce this dangerous predicament for a child for many years; leaving them very vulnerable around all water situations. With survival lessons, most children are able to turn and float independently in 10-12 lessons and then proceed on to age developmental swimming within 3-6 months of continuous lessons.

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF SWIM SURVIVAL SAFETY ARE:

  1. Respect for the water
  2. Skill in the water
  3. Confidence from the skill
  4. Fun!

In traditional lessons, it is generally taught in exact opposition with fun trying to lead to confidence and confidence to skill. The main issue with this method is the TIME it takes for the child to learn in this manner. Many years can pass where a child loves the water and has virtually no life saving skills or respect for the danger it represents. Little respect, no lifesaving skills and love for water = a recipe for disaster.

While we at SWIMBABES™ also teach with songs, games and much love and praise, safety is and will always be first and foremost. We will not allow children to learn unsafe habits in the water; like jumping in and being caught for fun…without also learning how to survive that jump if they then end up doing it without someone right there.

IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE, WHY DON’T MORE SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS TEACH THIS WAY?

The answer is because it takes specialized instructor training. There are few instructors across the United States and around the World who possess the knowledge and expertise to teach this methodology. Instructors who train with SWIMBABES™ generally train in the water for 3 months – 1 year before we allow them to work with beginners. Only instructors who have years of teaching experience are accepted to train to work with babies under age 2.

IS THIS PROGRAM FOR ME?

Swim Survival is for those parents who really value safety first and foremost in teaching their child to swim.

IS IT EXPENSIVE?

If you compare skill to skill how long it takes to be able to survive independently in the water in each method, Swim Survival Safety is a bargain. Our children can do in 6 months what most schools take 3 years to teach or never teach at all!. If we were to compare $$ to $$ for how long it takes to get the exact same skills in each program, our program would be 50%-60% less in overall cost!!

For more info or to talk to one of our specialists, call 503-786-6250 or email at swim.babes@yahoo.com.

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