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Welcome to the Otter Blotter!
February 18, 2010

Welcome to our first Otter Blotter of 2010.  We are looking forward to the new year and warmer weather.

Cold Weather and Illness

The winter season creates additional concerns for many parents. As cold and flu viruses make their rounds through your swimmer's schools, many parents worry that swimming in cold weather will contribute to the likelihood of illness. Many old wives tales exist about children's health and the weather.  Hopefully, the following information will help clarify the difference between popular mythology and health basics. 

MythSwimming, cold, and wind may cause ear infections.

Fact:  Middle ear infections (otitis media), common in small children, are caused by viruses and infectious colds. Typically, fluid from the Eustachian tubes in the ear drain through the nose and throat.  During illness,  passages constrict and the fluid builds up and may become infected.  Swimmer's ear (otitis externa) is an infection in the ear canal. The actual cause of swimmer's ear seems to be a combination of factors.  Warm humid air, warm water, length of time exposed to water, the natural enzymatic activity in the ear canal and the presence of bacteria are factors that predispose  the ear to swimmer's ear.

Myth:  Sudden changes in temperature or getting caught in the rain will cause colds.

Fact:  If one becomes ill after experiencing these weather conditions, the illness is a coincidence.  Viruses cause colds, not weather.  Changes in weather conditions may, however, cause allergies to flare up. Sneezing and runny noses lasting a few days are indicators of an allergic reaction; colds last about 10 days. If fact, the warm air of the pool my actually help with breathing, if the child feels up to a lesson.  Studies have shown that children that are active during the winter tend to develop fewer colds.

Additional information can be found on the following websites....

Pediatric Journal of Medicine

Winter Swimming and Illness

Will going out with wet hair really cause a cold??

Swimmer's Ear Information

  Goggles in Swim Lessons

The use of goggles can be very beneficial. Goggles can help children develop the confidence to submerge, but at some stage learners need to become comfortable with the feel of water in their eyes.  It is important that children not become "goggle dependent". 

Consideration needs to be given to how safe children really are if they become reliant on their goggles. Falling into water with loose, or without any goggles often reduces the child to weak or non swimmer status.

We use a gentle and gradual approach for teaching children to become comfortable with water in their eyes. This includes removing goggles for part of every lesson .

We also constantly monitor a learner's emotional state as well as their ability to perform the task. A clear lens allows the teacher to watch the eyes and make judgements on things such as level and intensity of work.

Goggles need to be a good fit to avoid the learner fiddling with them throughout the lesson. We have loaners at the pool side, but it is best if your child has their own pair. Test the style and fit by using the "suction test".

Without putting the headband on, place the lens against the eye sockets. Using your thumbs, gently push the front of the lens onto the eye socket.

The goggles are likely to be the right size and style if suction causes them to stay in place.


RESOURCE: Barb Nolan, who owns and operates Dipadees Little Aussie Swim School in Queensland Austalia. She has previously been the Swim Australia Development Manager


Singing in Swim Class is Smart


Have you ever wondered why we sing during our swim lessons?  Well, there's a great reason!  Singing does so much for the young swimmer.  Learning to move arms and legs in a swimming pattern depends on knowing where your arms, legs, and body really are.

Spatial awareness (knowing where your head, body and limbs are in space) is still developing in infants and young children. So, activities coupled with songs, are a great way for little ones to learn about their body. Not only that, learning songs and activities helps to develop important life skills such as:

· Memory... Recalling the words to use

· Recognition...Seeing the words in their minds eye

· Sequencing...learning to put things in order, i.e. which words & actions came first, next, last

· Rhythm...The beat fast, slow, fast, slow

· Pitch/tone...high, slow, soft, loud

All of theses are skills used later in life when children learn subjects such as Math and English. Singing also helps develop speech by developing the muscles in the face and the tongue.

Thanks for reading the Otter Blotter and for swimming with us 
John and Lory Kirk
Little Otter Swim School

Otter B. Safe Tips
Winter hopefully is on its way out but caution your children about frozen ponds.  The Carolinas do not get nearly cold enough to walk on frozen ponds.  In just a few minutes of plunging into cold water, hypothermia can set in.
Rosy Redfish icon
Family Swim 
Feb 26th
Call or stop by front desk to reserve

Family Swim  
 March 12
Call or stop by front desk to reserve

Family Swim
March 26
Call or stop by front desk to reserve
Safety Day   
March 27
Details to follow
Take look at our calendar of up-coming events,  Family Swims and Holidays.