Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Crawfish Aquatics, which offers year-round swimming instruction for students of all ages.
“It happened so fast,” a reflecting mom said to me. “One minute we are all outside in the yard playing. Then I decided to run inside to turn the oven on and got distracted sorting some mail. That’s when I heard the yelling, the screaming. What I saw next I have replayed in my mind over and over again. My 4-year-old son was in our pool, alone. His legs were almost fully submerged, but his chest and head were above water. He was floating on his back.”
“My six year old daughter was going back and forth, yelling to me and calling to him, “Belly up, kick your toes, belly up!”. While I was inside, he had made an impulsive decision to jump into the pool. A bad decision. But then, suddenly, what they had learned in swim lessons kicked in: ‘Roll over and float on your back until help comes. If a friend falls into the pool, call for help, don’t go in after him.’
“Although they were also taught never to swim alone or without an adult, they are kids and not perfect. I should have been out there, I should have never decided to ‘just run inside’. I know better. Accidents around water happen so quickly. Without swim lessons and safety training that comes along with proper swim instruction, that day could have had a much different ending.”
Children make impulsive decisions like going into a pool without a lifeguard or parent watching them. A ball tumbles into the pool and they jump in after it. They play breath-holding games and stay under too long. At Crawfish Aquatics, we hear stories like this often, and engaging the physical skills of our swimmers as well as equipping them to make smart decisions in and around the water are two objectives built into our curriculum-driven program and reinforced at each level of the program at all ages.
According to research (Center for Disease Control), drowning is responsible for more deaths among children aged 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies. And most drownings occur at home pools. With Crawfish Aquatics Swim Lessons, we are doing our part to change those statistics. Each participant spends a lesson jumping in the water in their clothes to practice this situation in which many accidents happen. All of our swimmers receive a water safety coloring book and take a water safety pledge which is reinforced during each session.
“Crawfish Aquatics has been instrumental in developing my girls’ confidence in the water as well as my own peace of mind,” says Amy Black, a local mother of four. “Knowing that at three years old my children could swim to the edge of the pool if they jumped or fell in made going to the pool or beach much more enjoyable. The instructors are so encouraging to the children and we are excited our youngest gets to start this summer!”
As a mother myself, I know how she feels. And while the swim coach in me hopes at least one of them chooses it for “their sport” when that time comes, for now and through middle school they will continue to participate in swim team year round. It’s a worthwhile skill and activity.
Here are some components of our quality lessons program:
1. A low instructor-to-child ratio
2. Instructors who are in the water rather than instructing from the pool deck
3. Lifeguard that oversees the entire setting
4. An intentional curriculum
5. Instruction that includes “face in the water” (because the reality is, if a child falls in a pool, their face will go under, and they need to know how to respond).
As the essential safety skills are covered and mastered, simply having fun in the water and enjoying all the benefits of this refreshing exercise can take center stage. And our swimmers have a blast. So do our coaches and instructors, who see the value of what they are teaching and understand the importance of connecting with each child.
And that enjoyment can continue in a variety of ways at Crawfish Aquatics, through our programs offered for all ages, including a year-round competitive swim team (developmental to elite levels), a youth triathlete group, Masters team for adult swimmers and AquaFit + Wellness water fitness classes.
“It is important for each child to learn safety first, and then learn or improve their water skills based on our curriculum,” says Nan Fontenot, Lessons Director for Crawfish Aquatics. “We have other programs that a child can become a part of as they grow and progress with their swimming. We believe our instructors provide the love, encouragement and motivation to help each child obtain the highest possible level of learning to swim.”
Courtney Roedel is the Director and a Head Age Group Coach of Crawfish Aquatics. Crawfish Aquatics offers swimming instruction year-round at 7150 Bluebonnet Blvd. in Baton Rouge. For more information or to register online visit www.crawfishaquatics.com.