Should You Use floaties?
As you head for the pool this summer, think twice before you pack those "water wings" in your swim bag. Most people perceive floaties to be good tools for helping children learn to swim. The opposite is actually true. Floaties do not help children learn to swim.
Floaties teach children to stay vertical in the water. Moving vertical in the water extremely inefficient. It requires a lot of energy for very little pay off.
Floaties create a false sense of confidence for children and parents. You may think your child is comfortable being in the water, when what he is really most comfortable with is being in the water with floaties. He ends up with more confidence than skill. This kind of thinking can be very dangerous.
Floaties hinder progress in swim lessons. At Little Otter, your teacher will spend a lot of time getting your child comfortable with his face in the water and comfortable in that nice horizontal swimming position. Once a child gets a taste of freedom in the water while throwing caution to the wind, they lose interest in swimming independently.
So what do you do if you have several children in the pool who need your supervision?
First of all, continue with your child's year round swim lessons until he can safely swim 75 ft and get several independent breaths. If you feel you must use a floatation device, avoid the arm type floaties. Choose something like a life jacket that is truly a safety device. And most importantly, make sure your child's last memory of the water is one where he has swam without any floatation device at all. He should leave the pool with an awareness of what his true swimming skills are like.
Join the staff of Little Otter for a Swim Festival on June 6th. It will be an afternoon of races and games for all our students. We plan to end the day with a record setting attempt for most babies backfloating at one time. Please follow the schedule below so your child can swim with children of thier own level
1:30 Team, Speedy Stingray, Mighty Mako & Blazing Barracuda
2:15 Dashing Dolphin, Golly Green Guppy, Purple Parrotfish,
3:15 Yippy Yellow Tang, Rosie Red Fish, Shiny Starfish
4:15 Otter Baby 3, Otter Baby 2, Otter Baby 1. We will take a
photo at 4:30 (Parents in water with children for Otter Babys)
Everybody will get a medal so come join us for a fun day at the pool.