At Kids Aquatic Survival School we teach children under the age of 5 (the highest risk age bracket for childhood drownings) not just water familiarization or exploration but aquatic SKILLS.
We do things very differently here from most swim school however we strongly feel these differences are vital in teaching adequate skills and reducing the drowning rate for children under 5. Our four distinct differences are:
We do not use any floatation devices or aids when a child is learning the 6-8 week survival program. We do not even use goggles in the survival program. Children will become accustom to them and panic keeping their eyes closed if they where to fall into a body of water without them on. Instead of keeping their eyes open to look for a place to get out. Floaties just give children (and parents)a false sense of security and does not teach them to respect the water.
Another way we are very different from most is that we do not have parents in the water with children (even the under 3's) when they are still learning. Most parents simply do not have the knowledge or training to teach their child adequate skills in the water. Remember teaching adequate skills and playing in the water are two very different things. A parent in the water just makes the learning process a lot slower and that time could cost a child their life. A parent in the sense acts just like a floatation device for the child and we all know that they just give children a false sense of security in the water.
The time is takes for children to become skilled. Not to say that once a child is skilled they should not stay in swimming lessons (like anything the more you do something the better you will get) but it is the time it takes for a child to initially become skilled is our third difference. Children should be skilled when they are most at risk. The highest risk age bracket for childhood drownings is the under 5's our survival program teaches babies from 6 months to walking age breath control and how to roll onto their back and stay in a floating breathing posture until help arrives. Walking age children are taught skills such as breath control, how to grab, reach up and turn for the side; If they are out of arms reach how to swim (dog paddle) to the side; how to roll back to float, rest and breath; how to incorporate the sequence of swimming and floating if safety is further than one breath away; most importantly all children are taught how to remain in a floating and breathing posture if getting to safety is simply not an option. All children also perform these skills in full winter clothing, nappy and shoes. At Kids Aquatic Survival School our program teaches all of the above in 6-8 weeks which is 30-40 lessons. Why? Because it is the under 5's that are most at risk so it only makes sense that children are still in this age group when they are adequately skilled.
Finally we do not have group lessons all lessons are private one on one. As you have no doubt realised by now that our lessons are very specialised and each child has different needs therefore lessons should be tailored to that specific child. The reason why lesson are all private and part of the reason why they learn so much quicker than most.