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Fear of the water is a learned behavior in infants and children.¹ For most children, it is not simply the physical water contact that causes anxiety, it is the case of either the eyes or ears being submerged. Underwater, eyes and ears are exposed to stimuli unlike anything experienced above water. These muffled sounds and blurry sights can be confusing, unfamiliar, and intimidating.² With time and experience, swimmers will become accustomed to the different sensations in water and can adjust their expectations accordingly.
Here at Gold Medal Swim School, we seek to first help swimmers and their parents/caregivers re- establish the bond of trust in the water, and then build swimming skills on top of that foundation. We use industry-leading toys, songs, and games which build slowly and gently into water acclimation skill sets.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “[c]hildren need to learn to swim... evidence shows that children ages 1 to 4 may be less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming instruction.”³
Although it is possible to teach your children how to swim, children are often more cooperative to learning in a formal setting.² Not only will they progress at a faster rate, they will also learn correct techniques and benefit from the social setting.
Research shows that, “70% of the adult brain weight is achieved at 18 months, 80% at 3 years, [and] 90% at 5–8 years.”4 Most Gold Medal Swim School swimmers begin at an early age because it is easier to teach an infant as their brain develops than a child who has already acquired a fear of the water.¹ Students enroll in Baby&Me as early as age 3 months.
Our curriculum incorporates a variety of methods to encourage and support each child. Learning takes place in a relaxed and anxiety- free environment where your child learns and progresses with practice and repetition. Each child will master skills at a different rate. Please feel free to discuss your child’s progress with the instructor at any time.
As stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, never “use air-filled swimming aids (such as inflatable arm bands) in place of PFDs (life Jackets). These aids can deflate and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.”5 These devices can be dangerous as they provide both “children and parents a false sense of security.”6 These inflatable devices are not supported by the skills we teach here at Gold Medal Swim School.