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Aquatic Behaviour

Water safety is an attitude that is built up through repeated experiences. Therefore, BEHAVIOUR in and around water is very IMPORTANT.

The commonly referred terms include head first entries, jumping entries both of which encourage the child to jump and submerge into water whilst the instructor or parent rescues them.

The association of “1,2,3 jump” and I will catch you, is creating a DANGEROUS behaviour for children in and around water. Furthermore, teaching children to associate nursery rhymes and songs such as “humpty dumpty” whilst they fall into the water and rescued by their parents is giving children a false sense of security, because what happens when the parent is not there to catch them?

Children are inherently curious and inquisitive. They don’t perceive danger or have the knowledge to assess an environment to be safe or unsafe. As parents/carers, educators and as a community it is our job to protect them. That doesn’t mean we should remove all possible dangers, because that isn’t reality. We need to equip our children with the skills and knowledge to respond appropriately to dangerous situations and environments. Although certain explorative behaviours are normal, parents and caregivers must provide adequate supervision at all times.

In Australia, 100% of toddler drownings occur when the child is not being supervised and nearly 80% of drownings in young children occur due to FALLS INTO WATER. Yes, we need to be introducing children to safe entry practices, but most importantly the child needs to be skilled to SURVIVE in the water BEFORE they are taught to enter independently.

That’s why at Kids Aquatic Survival School we don’t encourage children to jump into water until fully skilled.

 

No Floatation Devices

Floatation devices such as swim vests, arm bands, puddle jumper, water wings or swim trainers are NOT a substitute for supervision. They can give a child a false sense of security in water and create dependant behaviour of being vertical in water.

Unfortunately, the child is not able to stay vertical in the water without them. Infants and children do not have the strength to hold their head up in water. Should they fall into water, which happens to nearly 80% of children who drown, they won’t understand their own buoyancy.

Floatation devices allow children to be in the water for such a long time with their head up, eyes ahead, swimming around comfortably. Then when you take the aids off, they are unable to maintain this posture without them on. Generally speaking most infants that fall into water don’t have these devises on.

At Kids Aquatic Survival School (KASS) we want children to have a realistic perception of what they can do in the water. KASS lessons do not use any floatation devices, aids or goggles when a child is learning the KASS survival and learn to swim program.

WHY?

– Children become accustom to them
– Creates a false sense of security
– Create a dependent behaviour
– They don’t allow the child to understand their buoyancy in the water
– They are comforts kids won’t have if they accidentally fall into a body of water

 

Call 1800 543 779 or email info@infantswim.com.au to learn more and book your child into our accelerated survival program to increase their water safety.

 

#survivalswimming #swimfloatswim #swimfloatsurvive#drowningprevention #kidsaquaticsurvivalschool #nomoredrownings

 

A child’s response to water

Children can respond differently to water.

The article referenced below by North Shore Pediatric Therapy provides a valuable insight into the different sensory stages children experience with swimming, such as;

  1. Motor Planning
  2. Proprioception
  3. Vestibular
  4. Tactile
  5. Auditory

At Kids Aquatic Survival School all instructors are trained in the areas of;

  1. Child development and learning theory
  2. Behavioural science
  3. Anatomy
  4. Physiology and physics as they relate to infants and young children in the aquatic environment.

All KASS lessons are private, one instructor per student. This enables KASS instructors to tailor the lesson to each individual child, based on behaviour and ability. It also maximises the effectiveness of the lesson with 100% swim time and eliminates the distraction other children in the same lesson may have on accomplishing the goal from the lesson.

At KASS, we provide a safe and controlled environment, which allows the child to learn through consistency and positive reinforcement which builds tonnes of confidence!

Call 1800 543 779 to discuss our programs or visit our Lessons and Techniques page

Sensory Strategies for Swimmers

#swimfloatsurvive #competencebuildsconfidence #kidsaquaticsurvivalschool

Swimming out of your comfort zone

We are all guilty of continuing to do things we are comfortable with because it feels familiar, safe and secure. Each of us has our own comfort zone, be it psychological, emotional or behavioural.

By stepping out of our comfort zone we challenge ourselves to transition, grow, transform and ultimately create change.

Many of the skills taught through the Kids Aquatic Survival School (KASS) survival program, will be the first time a child has been required to perform. Such as;

  1. Being in the water
  2. Being in the water without their parent
  3. Floating assisted on their back
  4. Putting their face underwater

Many children might find these tasks challenging which may be outside of their comfort zone, but it is certainly within their capabilities.

At KASS, children are taught in a positive and safe environment through small incremental changes. We also make every lesson count, so the child is taught a new skill, which challenges them. KASS ensures the child makes a successful attempt at each skill presented, in order to create a positive learning experience. Each small change accumulates and builds upon the last one and with time, reassurance, patience and given the opportunity, children can and do achieve amazing life saving skills.

Please call 1800 543 779 or email info@infantswim.com.au to book your child into our accelerated Survival Program tailored to infants from 6 months to 6 years of age.

What are the most suitable swim lessons for my child?

The decision on the type of swim lessons for a child is a personal decision many new and existing parents struggle with and admit to facing hurdles such as location and cost which often override lesson effectiveness or suitability.

Children as young as 6 months, are encouraged to participate in what the industry classifies as “water familiarisation”. These lessons are generally conducted in a group setting with the parents in the water with their child. This is said to create bonding time for parent and baby and provide social interaction with other babies leading to a positive experience for the child’s association with water.

In many cases, the decision to conduct group lessons is based on:
  1. Financial viability as one instructor for 10 babies for 30 minutes is much more cost effective than one on one.
  2. The safety issue of personal liability is transferred to the parent who is the primary carer in the water.

Unfortunately, many of these water familiarisation classes do not equip the child with any aquatic survival skills. At the very core being to roll over and float to breathe.

Often young children enter into an aquatic experience without any understanding of their abilities or limitations, be it a river, ocean, swimming pool or fishpond. It is vitally important that we provide children with the opportunity to undertake progressive aquatic skill development that considers the experiences and activities that they may be exposed to in the future.

The reality is barriers such as supervision and restricting access to water break down. When children fall into a body of water they usually do so fully clothed when they have wandered there unnoticed with no parents around.

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT SWIMMING, IT’S ABOUT SURVIVAL

In the Survival Program at Kids Aquatic Survival School our main focus is learning to survive, not just swimming. It is now widely accepted that the ability to swim is not enough to save a life. As a nation surrounded by water, learning practical water survival skills at an early age is essential.

That is why at Kids Aquatic Survival School, once the child has completed the Survival program and is fully skilled; the child applies their newly learnt skills in a safe and controlled environment wearing full winter clothing including shoes and nappy. This is a vital step because it is a very different sensory experience swimming or floating in clothes. So should they ever fall into water fully clothed, it won’t be the first time they have performed this skill.

Kids Aquatic Survival School want children to respect the water: not to fear it, but to understand that they have limitations. Acquiring aquatic survival skills is fundamental in the attempt to eliminate drowning.

For more information call 1800 543 779 or visit www.infantswim.com.au

No Bubble Blowing

AT KASS we DON’T teach children to Blow Bubbles in lessons

Why? It is unsafe for an infant to blow bubbles as this dramatically limits the time they could hold their breath if they ever got into trouble. They also need air in their lungs for buoyancy.

At KASS we have and ALWAYS will focus on learned breath control as a FIRST priority in all lessons. Breath control is a child’s ability to hold their breath before they go under the water. KASS also teach children to roll over and float if they need to take a breath. As most children under the age of 2 are not yet physically capable of independently lifting their head out of the water to take a breath.

In our experience and through the way we teach breath control to children through our survival program, we have not found the need to teach infants and toddlers to blow bubbles. Teaching a child to blow bubbles too early makes them less safe and can cause a range of problems. This is one of many reasons that we don’t teach survival lessons to children who are aged under 6 months. We use specific methods to establish breath control and teach children to hold their breath when their mouth and nose is submerged in water. This practice keeps air inside the lunge, which in turn, increases buoyancy. If a baby or young child has lungs full of air, they will stay close to the surface easier, giving them time in an aquatic emergency. Blowing bubbles teaches infants to empty their lungs, which increases the chance of sinking under water faster.

The theory is that blowing bubbles to release air keeps children from inhaling water (aspirating).  The reality is, when a child is properly taught breath control with correct professional instruction from the beginning, their body automatically protects itself from water going into the lungs. In our lessons, children learn to respond to the natural environment rather than a person.

Over 13 years of teaching a full range of children including children with special needs, we are yet to encounter a child that has not responded to our methods of establishing breath control. In our opinion, teaching a child to blow bubbles too early makes them less safe and can cause a range of problems. Babies need to hold their breath so they can submerge and swim distances. Blowing bubbles will increase the chance of the baby inhaling and ingesting water. At KASS, we wait until breath control is well mastered before we teach children to exhale their bubbles underwater. By the bubble blowing stage the child has already learnt breath control, swimming to the edge or safety and independent floating. At this point they progress onto transitional lessons where diving for submerged objects and stroke is introduced and the slow release of breath is monitored and instructed.

This is now industry knowledge. Even our biggest critic, Laurie Laurence has shifted his swim teaching philosophy and no longer condones bubble blowing under 2 years in his lessons, because he “noticed that as soon as babies blow out their bubbles then they must take a breath in”. (See article link below).

At KASS we are always looking at continual improvement with keeping the child’s safety always paramount.

Call 1800 543 779 or email info@infantswim.com.au to book your child into our accelerated survival program to increase their water safety.

Reference: worldwideswimschool.com/blowing-bubbles-2-years-4-months/

Competence before Confidence

“Many Australian children enter into an aquatic experience without any understanding of their personal capabilities or limitations….It is vitally important we provide children with the opportunity to undertake progressive aquatic skill development that considers the experiences and activities that they may be exposed to in the future and provide them with a core set of skills that can be utilised in times of need.” Royal Life Saving NSW

That is why at KASS, once the child has completed the Survival program and is fully skilled, they perform their newly learnt skills in full winter clothing including shoes and nappy. This is a vital step because it is a very different sensory experience swimming or floating in clothes.

To ensure the child has an understanding of what it feels like to perform the skills in clothes, we simulate this in a safe and controlled environment so should they ever fall into water fully clothed, it won’t be the first time they have performed this skill.

Call 1800 543 779 or email info@infantswim.com.au to book your child into our accelerated survival program to increase their water safety.

#survivalbeforestroke #kidsaquaticsurvivalschool #watersafety#survivalswim

Image source; Daily Telegraph

Swimming and cognitive function

Swimming improves a child’s cognitive function

 A four-year study of over 7,000 children by the Griffith University in Australia found that swimming children were more advanced in physical and mental development when compared to their non-swimming peers. Specifically, the 3- to 5-year-olds who swam were 11 months ahead of the normal population in verbal skills, six months ahead in math skills, and two months ahead in literacy skills. They were also 17 months ahead in story recall and 20 months ahead in understanding directions.

How does swimming help?

Bilateral cross-patterning movements, which use both sides of the body to carry out an action, help your baby’s brain grow.

Cross-patterning movements build neurons throughout the brain, but especially in the corpus callosum, which facilitates communication, feedback, and modulation from one side of the brain to another.

Research states this improves:

  • reading skills
  • language development
  • academic learning
  • spatial awareness

Source: griffith.edu.au and healthline.com and seaottersswim.com

#teachthemyoung #swimmingimprovesbrainfunction #watersafety#childsafety #kidsaaquaticsurvivalschool

 

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