Author Topic: kids and swimming lessons  (Read 7376 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #75 on: September 13, 2013, 06:20:44 AM »
Leafy, your understanding and experience with babies and bathing is pretty similar to most Americans that I know.

Magnet

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #76 on: September 13, 2013, 10:15:48 AM »
My high school had a great pool, but I already knew how to swim from the local YMCA.

My college required all women to pass a swimming class because the woman who donated the land (and a lot of money) to this college had a child die in a swimming accident.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the only college that had such a requirement.

I now spend half the year in Florida, and fish a lot so I see a lot of fish in the water.  I do not snorkel here due to the number of large toothy fish, but this area is known for diving and snorkeling.

Betelnut

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2013, 01:29:01 PM »
But on infants and swimming, in the U.S. the idea of infants swimming is a fringe idea.  General advise is to even hold off on a real bath for months.  My city has many "Waterbabies" classes, but 9-months is the minimum age.  I had never even heard of the idea until my baby was about that age.

CRIVINS!? Do they sponge bath babies then?

Every summer you see tourists going out into conditions too much for them, and some of them don't make it back home. Please, if you are visiting Australia and want to try our beaches (and you should, they're the best in the world, just don't go to Bondi ;)) please, at least learn how to duck under a wave and let it wash over you. Once I learned how to do that, I stopped being thrown about and haven't been "dumped" in years.

Not sponge bath, but you get a baby bathtub (example) where you can pretty much just pour cupfuls of water over your baby and use a washcloth.  They don't have to be propped up and there's no danger of drowning.  When your child is old enough to sit up you can get an inflatable bath insert which goes in the big tub but helps a lot when they're at that "tips over when trying to sit up straight" stage and keeps them from sliding around in the bigger bath.

Ah, I was wondering too. We also use baby baths but would still call that giving the baby a bath. Also, it's not strictly true to say that there is no risk of drowning in a baby bath. It gets drilled into us here that a child can drown in 2 cms of water (an inch), so it is parental presence and not bath or water depth that prevents drowning.

My 10 month old has been doing swimming lessons since 6 months of age. Prior to that we attended an post-natal aqua class run by a physic. Mum and bub in the pool for 15 mins and then 45 mins of aqua for mum. Our current swimming instructor tells us that she lived in the US when her daughter was a baby and she was not allowed to take her into the public swimming pool until she was ... now I'm forgetting, it may have been a year old. My DD went to the pool for the first time at about 7 weeks.

I'm not familiar with any restrictions on age at the local public swimming pool here (Maryland).  I've seen them in the pool as infants (being held by an adult, of course!  LOL).
"And thus the whirligig of time brings in his
revenges." -- Feste, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

Native Texan, Marylander currently

Arila

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #78 on: September 13, 2013, 01:38:40 PM »
I grew up in the US (in the desert) and most families have swimming pools, but many schools Don't.

I was in the pool before I could walk, and my parents took lessons to learn how to teach me to swim as an itty-bitty one (how to teach an infant how to hold their breath, float, etc). With at least a 1/3 of homes having pools in my city (and one in my childhood back yard), having kids know how to swim is a safety concern, so I also had swimming lessons from about as young as they'd offer them.

Compulsory school lessons consisted of a few weeks in a session of PE my freshman year. This was a HUGE event because the pool was over at the boy's school, so we'd have to walk over there and change and swim where (we all imagined) the entire population of the boy's school was watching. Nevermind that they were all in classes just like we were. ;)

lilfox

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #79 on: September 13, 2013, 01:51:19 PM »
I was on a swim team for a year in high school - we carpooled or were bussed to the local indoor pool facility (not affiliated with any one school) for practices and meets.  IME experience (lived in several US locations), it's rare that any (public) K-12 school has its own pool.  When I was growing up, we tended to live in neighborhoods that have community pools, paid for through HOA dues, so that's where my swimming experience comes from.

Where I currently live, in the US pacific northwest, we have an outdoor community pool with a very active swim team that allows down to 4 year olds to join (provided they know how to swim!).  Lessons, however, are not regularly offered and when they are, it's during the day on a weekday so my own DD has not been able to participate.  She's been learning informally from us though and she's finally showing an interest in putting at least part of her face in the water.

There are a few small indoor pool facilities in the area but of the three within a 20 mile radius, only one has not closed due to budget problems.  YMCAs/YWCAs and some higher-priced gyms have pools but the annual membership can be $$$.  Some of these places offer "water babies" classes for 6+ or 9+ months as well as lessons for older kids, which is nice because you're not limited to only summer for swimming.

That said, both DH and I (and our families) put a high value on being able to swim in both pools and open water, with and without snorkel gear, since it was always a big, if seasonal, part of our lives growing up.  We also tend to vacation at beaches or lakes, so having the kids be comfortable around water is pretty important.  I will say that although I consider myself a strong swimmer, I didn't like snorkeling for a long time (the mouth-only breathing is my issue, so I would use the mask and just hold my breath rather than use the snorkel) although I'm pretty okay with it now.

Faerydust

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #80 on: September 13, 2013, 02:41:30 PM »
My 10 year old DS just started 6th grade and his school happens to be across the street from a community pool. For P.E., they have several pool days and are supposed to be learning survival swim techniques. I'm really hoping it will help him. Only a few schools on the island have pools nearby and have swimming for P.E., so we just happened to get lucky.

I'm in Hawaii and it was very important to me that my son learn to swim since we are surrounded by beaches, but from a very young age he had an extreme aversion to water on his face and even after taking him to private swimming lessons, he is not a competent swimmer. I have a feeling that it will "click" eventually, but until then I don't feel comfortable letting him play in the ocean. He's gotten better about putting his face underwater and trying to swim a few feet, but anything more and he panics.

We have lots of free to use, public pools here. I imagine most kids here learn quite young and don't have formal lessons. I know that my mom took me to baby swim lessons and group lessons at age 4. I always loved the water and was motivated to learn to swim so I could go in the deep end.

TXJess

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #81 on: September 13, 2013, 04:03:48 PM »
My grandma had a pool in her backyard when I was young, so I learned how to swim as a toddler. I also did a YMCA swimming class, and then my siblings and I did private swimming lessons I think once a week most of the summer with a teenager. I also did some swimming lessons in 4th grade with the school (same school district that kherbert05 teaches in), but that was in the 90's so I'm glad they still do that. I remember they split us up into two groups, the kids who could already swim well, and the kids who needed a bit more help. I was really surprised by how many people couldn't swim!

Then my siblings and I were on the neighborhood swimteam when we moved. I did that until I was in highschool, then I just couldn't be bothered  ::). Funny story- one summer when I was in jr.high, my family went to South Dakota to visit my great grand parents. They lived in a very small town, so my great grandpa was very excited to take us to a pool. I think he was more excited than we were! This pool had a rule that in order to go off the diving boards, you had to take a swim test to prove you knew how to swim. I think it was 4 laps or something. My sister and I got so upset. Who wants to swim laps on their vacation? My mom talked to the lifeguards and they agreed to only make us do 1 lap (back and forth).. looking back that was kinda snowflakey, but we had been doing competitive swimteam for a couple years at that point and went swimming at our neighborhood pool almost daily during the summers. If the lifeguards would have said no, you have to do all 4 laps, we would have done them. It's not like my mom would have made a big fuss. Those lifeguards were very nice!

Harriet Jones

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #82 on: September 14, 2013, 11:09:17 AM »
My college required all women to pass a swimming class because the woman who donated the land (and a lot of money) to this college had a child die in a swimming accident.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the only college that had such a requirement.

My college required everyone (not just women) to pass a swimming class to graduate. 

PastryGoddess

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #83 on: September 14, 2013, 07:18:08 PM »

I have another question for the non-swimmers - does that mean you don't snorkle e.g. if you go to a beach you wouldn't put your face in the water to look at the fish?   

I'm sure there are beaches in the US where you can snorkel and actually see fish, but I couldn't tell you which ones.

I'm a decently strong swimmer but I dislike putting my face in the water. 

However, I have no problem snorkeling.  The mask covers your eyes and nose.  Only the lower part of your face is actually in the water and the snorkel makes breathing easy. 

There are certainly places in the USA where you can snorkel.  Hawaii, the Virgin Islands and Florida come readily to mind.

Aren't there sharks there?!

Actually sharks migrate all up and down the east coast of the US.  Not just in the south.  There have been great whites spotted as far north as Massachusetts.  And honestly, I'm not afraid of sharks.  I'm afraid of the jellyfish.  I get contact dermatitis and a jellyfish sting can take weeks to go away


ETA: Check it out http://sharks-ocearch.verite.com/
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 07:22:27 PM by PastryGoddess »

Sophia

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2013, 06:53:50 PM »
Pastry, have you looked into a Lycra bodysuit?  They are a specialty item in scuba gear.   They are basically a not-tight swimsuit that you put over your regular swimsuit that covers your entire body except your hands, feet and head. 
I wear one scuba diving because I don't need a wetsuit when everyone else does, but my skin is very sensitive.   I stay far away from, well, everything I can.  But, those things that look like clear worms with glowing lights in their innards LOVE me.  They leave bites like mosquitoes that are 10X as itchy.   
You wouldn't be able to pet a jellyfish, but it helps.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

PastryGoddess

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #85 on: September 15, 2013, 07:41:28 PM »
Pastry, have you looked into a Lycra bodysuit?  They are a specialty item in scuba gear.   They are basically a not-tight swimsuit that you put over your regular swimsuit that covers your entire body except your hands, feet and head. 
I wear one scuba diving because I don't need a wetsuit when everyone else does, but my skin is very sensitive.   I stay far away from, well, everything I can.  But, those things that look like clear worms with glowing lights in their innards LOVE me.  They leave bites like mosquitoes that are 10X as itchy.   
You wouldn't be able to pet a jellyfish, but it helps.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

I'm totally ok with not petting jellyfish.  I'd rather kiss a poisonous snake :)  I do have a wetsuit, but I only wear it when I'm scuba diving.  When I'm at the beach, I enjoy wearing my bathing suit.  So basically I want it both ways.  I'm so vain :) 

BigBadBetty

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #86 on: September 15, 2013, 10:38:07 PM »
I really want to thank everyone for this thread. I thought it might be different between countries, but I had no idea who different it was in my own country (U.S.). I just assumed most high schools (except maybe ones with 200 or less students) had a swimming pool. Sure enough, I looked up my niece's school in the South...no swimming pool. None of the schools in the area has one. They do have a swim team that meets at off-campus locations. I just assumed if you had a swim team, you had a pool. I would have never even thought to ask.

jaxsue

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Re: kids and swimming lessons
« Reply #87 on: September 27, 2013, 01:55:53 PM »
In Michigan most schools don't have pools and the majority of kids do not learn through school. I learned at the YMCA and had those skills reinforced at summer camp and other experiences.

The reality is that there is a gap in who has the chance to learn to swim in the US.

I'm a 'gander, and I agree. I learned how to swim because we were the "Great Lake State"!  :) I learned how to swim in Lake Michigan. I lived way up north, where pools were rare (cold climate), so you swam in the many lakes in the area.

General comment: I lived in FL for 22 yrs. There are pools everywhere there, as well as canals, rivers, and of course, the ocean. Every FL kid should know how to swim, just for safety's sake. We had a very large inground pool and both my boys could swim very well by age 5.

Like many other posters, our schools (both MI and FL) didn't have swimming pools. Whether it was lack of funds or insurance liability, they didn't exist. Swimming lessons could be found at the local YMCA in FL.