Many parents choose to wait to start their baby’s aquatic education until over the age of 1. There is a huge misconception that babies won’t learn anything until they are a little older. This could not be further from the truth.
In 2018 drowning causing death in children aged 0-4 years decreased by 36% against the 10 year average. Although these statistics are beginning to lower, drowning is still the number 1 leading cause of accidental death in children aged 0-5 years. Last year within Australia there where 551 recorded non-fatal drownings, many of these non-fatal drowning cause permanent long term effects. Aquatic education is so important in creating an additional barrier towards drowning prevention.
So, when should you start your baby swimming and why?
At 5 Star Swim Schools we understand that starting your baby as young as 3-4 months has a number of benefits to both the baby and the parent. Here are some reasons why we suggest starting babies so young.
The Central Coast lifestyle
Living on the central coast means the likely hood of your baby being exposed to water at a young age is very high. Teaching your baby to swim is an important factor in keeping your family safe. Not only will it help to keep your baby safe around water, but we will give you the tools to ensure that you understand how to help your baby enjoy the water!
Parent and Baby Bonding
The pool is a place free of distractions so you can focus solely on your baby. Research shows that a key aspect to a baby’s development is a secure attachment to their primary caregiver. Swimming lessons are a wonderful time for parents and their babies to spend together one on one. There is lots of skin to skin contact, this is a unique aspect of swimming lessons and can help to foster the bond between bub and caregiver. We have found that young babies tend to be more relaxed while they are in the water (They have just been surrounded by liquid for the first 9 months of their lives) making bonding time easier. Swimming lessons provide an opportunity for caregivers to be a source of comfort for their babies, helping to grow a stronger bond between the two.
Encourage babies’ heart, lung and muscle development and long term health benefits
Swimming lessons also has amazing effects on bubs health. Research shows that swimming lessons helps with the development of your babies’ heart, lungs and muscles. Swimming lessons can also help with the cognitive development of your baby. Swimming lessons will naturally foster your baby’s reflexes, which can help them to develop faster and more efficiently.
Long term health benefits can come in the form of a stronger immune system, stronger muscles and healthier lungs and heart. Studies show that children who start swimming lessons young also have better balance, coordination, grasping and catching skills.
Establish Healthy Habits
With obesity rates in Australia on the rise it is important to set your baby up with healthy habits early on in life. Swimming is a gentle, low impact sport that children and adults can enjoy for their whole life. Building a love and respect for the water from a young age is setting your child up for a successful aquatic education that can continue on throughout the entirety of their life.
Swimming is an activity the whole family can enjoy together for years to come.
Gentle exercise will help bub to sleep and eat better
Swimming is a gentle exercise that encourages the whole body to work. While enjoying their time learning in the water, your child is working up an appetite and using their excess energy in a very productive way. This can encourage bub to both eat and sleep better.
Emotional and Social Skills – Both parent and baby
Studies show that babies who start swimming lessons early can be up to 15 months ahead of their peers in maths, counting and language by the time they start school. Babies learn by repetition; our baby’s programs are all structured around this. We include activities such as colour sorting, counting and repetition of words, putting words to actions. Helping your baby to mentally develop quicker.
Develop a respect for the water
Starting swimming lessons so young can be daunting. 5 Star Swim Schools ensures that all babies will learn to swim in a gentle non-threatening environment. Your baby will never be forced under water or made to do anything you or bub are not comfortable with. Creating a calm, happy and caring environment is so important for us to help foster your baby’s love and respect for the water. Nothing brings our instructors more joy then seeing the baby’s and caregivers in their classes enjoying their time in the pool.
We know that swimming lessons can help to make bub happy. We will always encourage lots of positive feedback and reinforcement between caregiver and bub and instructor and baby. Praising your baby can help to release dopamine, meaning happier babies. Positive reinforcement can help to build bubs self-esteem, meaning all round happier healthier babies!
Swimming lessons are a great opportunity for you and your baby to socialise with other parents and babies. Getting some much needed time out of the house and spending time with other like minded individuals is great for mental health.
Babies Love It!
There is no doubt about it, babies love swimming lessons. They love to splash and learn and explore. As they grow older and start to understand you will see the joy in your child’s face when you tell them its time for swimming. Starting babies at a young age helps to develop their relationship with water.
Although there is absolutely no substitute for 100% supervision around water, swimming lessons are crucial in helping to created barriers between your child and the water. Teaching your children to swim young plays a vital part in their safety in and around water. Not only will swimming lessons teach bub how to be comfortable, relaxed and safe in the water but we will also teach them to sit and wait to be invited in and that children should never go swimming without an adult present!
Children who start later on average take longer to learn how to swim. Swimming is all about consistency, if you decided to start your baby young you are deciding to make a commitment to swimming lessons for at least the next few years of your child’s life. It is so important to stick with lessons because coming and going will only put your child’s progress on hold and will essentially undo all the hard work you have already put in.
This is Australia, we are an island nation. We are surrounded by water, in fact 2.7 million Australians live in a house with a pool. That’s one pool per 9 people! Learning to swim should be a priority in every household.
At 5 Star Swim Schools we offer a variety of different school holiday programs and clinics. These clinics are aimed at basic learn to swim right through to competitive swimming. All 5 of our Swim Centres have something different to offer most school holidays. Here is why we recommend holiday programs and clinics for your child.
Intensive programs can be used to give your child an additional boost.
School holiday programs are a great way to give your child that extra push they may need to hopefully fast track their progress. We know that commitment and consistency are so important when it comes to your child’s swimming progress. Swimming 5 days in a row through the holidays equates to the same amount of practice as swimming for a whole school term at one lesson per week. Learning a new skill takes time for children to master and having less time in between swimming lessons helps children to retain what they have learnt. Swimming every day for 1 or 2 weeks minimises any down time between session.
Stuck on a skill
It is common for children to get stuck on one specific skill. Focusing on one or two skills for 5 days in a row will help your child pick up these skills at a faster rate. This will help them to also retain the skills for when they return to their normal lessons, helping your child to progress at a faster rate than only swimming once or twice per week.
Recently moved up a level
If your child has recently moved up a level and is feeling worried or anxious about what is to come, holiday programs are a great way to help them settle into their new level and this can also be a great way to get a few skills ticked off before they start their new class.
Keep kids active in the holidays
We live in a time where it can be easy for children to spend their days in front of electronic devises. Why not get them out of the house once a day and help to keep them active! All our pools are indoors and heated so the weather is not a factor in how their lessons will run.
Being prepared for competitions and school swimming carnivals.
We offer a variety of clinics aimed at swimmers from mini squad right through. These clinics cover, Butterfly, breaststroke, and competitive race skills such as dives, turns and finishes. These clinics are great for competitive swimmers who are looking for some tips on how to make them race faster or for children who are looking to be prepared for their school swimming carnivals.
All 5 Centres will still be running as usual throughout the holidays with holiday programs being offered as an additional boost on top of their normal lessons. School holiday programs should always be used as an additional session rather then replacing your normal learn to swim classes. If your child does not do weekly lessons and only participates in the school holiday programs, it will be close to impossible for them to retain the skills that they learnt with such a big break between lessons.
Give us a call to book today or click on the link below to make an enquiry.
According to the Royal Lifesaving drowning report for 2018 Drowning is still the leading cause of accidental death in children under 5 within Australia. These statistics are scary and something that 5 Star Swim Schools is passionate about changing. We make sure to always incorporate safety into each of our lessons and also hold regular SwimSafer weeks at all of our centre. Further to this we believe that the best way to learn how to be safe in and around water is to learn how to be a strong and confident swimmer. Here is a list that we have put together with some tips to help make sure your children are safer around water.
Learn to swim
The number one gift you can give your child is to learn how to swim. In order to make sure that your children are competent around water they must attend regular swimming lessons. It is a common misconception that a child is a strong swimmer when they can swim 25m freestyle. To be safe around water means having the ability to get out of dangerous situations on their own. We wouldn’t class a swimmer as “strong “until they can comfortably swim 400m consecutively.
Open waters such as the ocean, lakes, rivers and dams are very different to the pool. Not only is supervision more difficult, but so are the swimming conditions. No one should swim on their own without being able to swim at least 400m comfortably in the pool.
If you want to ensure that your children are safer around water, then put your phone down and watch them. Supervising your children while they are swimming should be your only priority. Put away any distractions and always keep children within arms’ reach. Floaties are not lifeguards and do not mean that your children are safe. Drowning can be silent and happens very quickly. The only way to prevent accidents from happening is to make sure that you are present.
Fence the pool and shut the gate
In the words of Laurie Lawrence and his kids’ alive campaign “Fence the pool, shut the gate!” Make sure to regularly check your pool fence and gate. Never leave the gate propped open making it easy for children to access the pool unsupervised. You should also check that there is nothing inside or outside of the pool area that children can use to help them climb over the fence.
Do not leave any water laying around
Children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. Check your house and yard to make sure that you have no tubs, buckets, containers or large water bowls laying around full of water. Make sure that any time you use the bath or a paddle pool it gets emptied straight away after use. Water sensory play can be a great way to talk to your children about being safe around water. Always teach them to ask for permission before they go near water.
Teach your children not to enter the water without permission first
Your children should be taught to respect the water. Having conversations at home and at swimming lessons with your kids to help teach them about being safe around water could be a life saver. This doesn’t need to be a scary topic. Teach children to always ask a responsible adult for permission and to supervise them while they are swimming. A good rule is to never go swimming alone. Speak with your children about what they should do if they ever found themselves in a tricky situation while swimming. Spend time with your children playing in the water. This will help to build confidence. Enrol your children in weekly swimming lessons. 5 Star Swim Schools aquatic educators will teach your children about being water safe and help them to build the skills that it will take to be a strong, confident swimmer.
CPR saves lives. Get qualified and keep those qualifications up to date. CPR certificates are only valid for 12 months it is important to keep getting qualified every 12 months.
In the time it takes…
• To cross the room and grab a towel, a child could be submerged.
• Answer the phone, a child could lose consciousness.
• Sign for a package at the front door, a child could submerge in a tub or pool and sustain brain damage or drown.
Death is not the only risk associated with drowning. Non-fatal drowning can cause lifelong affects. On average 996 Australians are involved in drowning related incidents every year. 36% of all drownings causing death in Australia throughout 2018 were children aged 0-4 years, 25% were children aged 5-14 years. Please help us to lower these statistics. Swimming lessons should be a priority in every household. Living on the NSW central coast we are surrounded by beautiful large bodies of water. Let’s enjoy coastal living and help to eliminate drowning in Australia.
5 Star Swim Schools knows how important it is for all children to have the opportunity to learn how to swim. We also know that it takes time and constant repetitive practice for a child to master new skills. We know how important consistency is for children and how much of an effect consistency has on your child’s progress and swimming development.
We get asked the question all the time “how long will it take for my child to learn how to swim”. The truth to this answer is that there is no set time frame. What we do know is that CONSISTENCY IS KEY! Children are creatures of habit. Routine is so important for children. Once that routine is broken it can take time for your child to settle back into their swimming lesson. Progress will be put on hold and skills will be forgotten.
How can you help to keep your child’s lessons consistent?
Commit to lesson times that wont likely change very often.
It is important to make sure you show up to your child’s lesson each week. Children can’t progress when they are not there, and each missed lesson will mean your child’s progress will be put on hold even further. Find a lesson time that works for you and your family. Once you have the perfect time make a commitment to show up every week. Our staff will always endeavour to accommodate all our customers. Our pools run 7 days a week, so we have something for everyone. If you know that your lesson time may need to change give us as much notice as you can, and we can try our hardest to make it work for you.
Swim two or three times per week.
Every child learns differently, and some skills may take longer for a child to master than another. Committing to two or three swimming sessions per week means your child’s ability, comfort and progression is sure to be accelerated. By increasing the frequency of sessions not only do you increase how much swimming you do each week but it will also decrease the down time in between lessons. Which means more practice and less time to forget the skills already learnt. If you are consistent and with swimming multiple times a week you will soon see a rapid increase of progress.
If you do need to miss a lesson, make it up as soon as possible!
5 Star Swim Schools offers makeup lessons for any missed classes. Be sure to notify us that you won’t be able to make your lesson before the class starts. You are now able to do this on our customer portal. If you are going on a holiday and have access to be able to a pool, make the effort to take your children for a play each day.
Practice and play outside of lessons times!
Water play is so important for children when learning to swim. The more exposure to water children can have the better. Remember to always supervise your children in and around water!
Swim all year round!
There is a misconception out there that kids should have a break from lessons through winter. This could not be further from the truth. We know that taking a break from swimming lessons will only hinder your child’s progress. It takes time for your children to get their skill back up to scratch. Did you know, swimming only once a week equals to only 26 hours’ worth of swimming over and entire year. Repetition and consistency ensure that the foundations stay strong!
5 Star Swim Schools are committed to swimming and we want your experience with us to be as stress free as possible. We are here to help and will accommodate all our customers as best we can. Our dedicated team loves to watch your children gain new skills and become safer and stronger swimmers each week.
Not everyone learnt to swim as a child for lots of different reasons, but that doesn’t need to stop you. At 5 Star Swim Schools we strongly believe it’s never too late to learn how to swim. We have a variety of different options for adult learn to swim classes. You can join a weekly group lesson that focuses on beginner skills through to stroke tuition. We also offer adult private lessons if you would prefer to be on your own. If you are looking to improve your swimming technique and fitness, then our adult fitness squads would be a great choice. Our adult squads cater to all types of swimmers from the general lap swimmers to the open water/ surf/ masters’ competitors.
Royal Life Saving Australia’s 2018 national drowning report shows that 249 people lost their lives to drowning last year. A further 551 people were hospitalised due to non-fatal drowning, many of these causing permanent long-term effects.
Out of the 249 drowning deaths in 2018, a staggering 192 were over the age of 25. Breaking down these numbers, of those drownings where loss of life occurred, 30% were aged between 25-44 years. Males accounted for 72% of the overall drowning statistics. 35 people aged between 45-54 years also drowned and 29 deaths were aged 55-64 years. The 65+ age bracket accounted for 52 drownings. These statistics are scary and show that it is not only important for children to learn how to swim but adults as well! We are an island nation meaning we are surrounded by water. To avoid getting into an uncomfortable situation in the water, make sure your swimming skills are up to scratch.
Apart from the number one reason being safety learning to swim as an adult can also have many health benefits:
- The waters buoyancy makes swimming a low impact sport on the joints and bones in your body. Swimming is also proven to strengthen the joints and improve
- Studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training (like swimming through a dense medium such as water) can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
- Swimming can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills. To begin with, it increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that can enhance the growth of brain cells. Exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s vital for memory and learning, to grow in size. This serves to increase mental function in older adults.
- Swimming regularly can help you relax and sleep better. The energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep, which greatly improves the quality of sleep. The increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is also thought to improve sleep quality by helping the body’s temperature drop during sleep. Regular physical activity, regardless of whether it is aerobic or a combination of aerobic and resistance training, can help you sleep better and feel more energized during the day.
If you learnt to swim as a child but haven’t participated in any sort of swimming or water sport since it is important to get back in the pool. Like any other sport constant practice is required to continue to uphold skills.
Jinith Nair is currently enrolled in an adult learn to Swim class at one of our pools. Jinith never learnt to swim as a child. Here is what Jinith had to say about learning to swim as an adult.
“I live right near the beach and I see people swimming every day. We have beautiful water all around us. My daughter is 2.5 and she had to learn so I thought it was the perfect time for us both to give it a go.”
Don’t sit on the sidelines any longer! Enquire today and learn how to swim!
Winter is the best time of the year for your children to learn how to swim. Summer is always just around the corner and living on the NSW Central Coast means that we are surrounded by large bodies of water. Continuing swimming lessons over winter can help children to gain water confidence in time for the warmer months. Learning how to be safe and confident around water should be of high priority in every household. Swimming is not just a sport it’s an essential skill for life.
5 Star Swim Schools believes that swimming through winter is vital in getting your kids ready for summer. Here are some reasons why.
Stopping lessons during winter will put a hold on your child’s progression!
Children simply forget! Many children who stop swimming over winter can no longer keep up with the previous skills they have learnt. When you do decide to return back to lessons it will take time for your child to regain the previous skills that they had previously mastered. Children who stop lessons over winter tend to take a lot longer to learn how to swim compared to children who practice all year round.
Swimming can help to strengthen the immune system!
Despite common myth swimming through winter can help to reduce your children from getting sick. Lessons all year round can help to maintain a healthy strong immune system. This can also help to reduce the risk of catching colds and flues. Our pools are heated to 31 degrees right through the cooler months. We also maintain heated air to ensure your children are warm before, during and after their lessons.
Swimming is a great source of fitness!
Keeping your children moving is important for creating a healthy lifestyle that they can carry on throughout their life. Swimming has also been found to increase blood flow to the brain which means more oxygen. This can help to improve your memory and cognitive function. Keeping up with physical activity can also help to keep endorphins flowing which means happier, healthier kids.
Did you know?
Swimming only once a week equals to only 26 hours’ worth of swimming over an entire year. If you skip the winter months this could mean roughly 19.5 hours. This is not a lot of swimming.
To put it into perspective do you remember how many hours it took your children to learn how to talk or walk?
To stay warm through winter we suggest showering your children at the pool straight after their lesson and dressing them in warm clothes and a beanie. All our pools have hot showers available for your use.