“How long will it take for my child to be able to swim?”
A: Some parents mistakenly think that if their child is able to do a couple of lengths in a pool, they are safe in the water.
There are in excess of 100 drownings in New Zealand each year and in most cases, the ability to swim a couple of lengths would not have saved the victims life. In the years that Rangitoto Swim School has been operating, we have found that a 20-30 minute lesson, once a week during the early years of a child's life is by far the best way to learn to swim.
Classes operate for 48 weeks each year, which means a child can have approx 24 hrs of swimming lessons. That's one day per year dedicated to swimming. If a child starts classes as an infant, they will have 8 days of swimming by the time they are 9 years old.
That's not much is it?
But almost without exception, our 9 yr olds are able to swim up to 80 lengths during their half hour swim lessons. ( that's 900 meters)
Many of our children can do this by the age of 7 and some at 6 years old!
A constant 20-30 minutes of quality lessons is the best way to learn.
“There are times where my child's swimming ability doesn't seem to be progressing, why is this?”
A: This is the same with almost any form of learning! Learning to walk, talk, read, write etc... There are times when progress seems slow or even non existent.
But don't worry, its just like money in the bank, there will be a huge pay off one day.
Some children do have a very steady learning curve when it comes to swimming, but the majority will have plateaus with small steep increases in ability as new techniques suddenly click into place.
Remember, patients and encouragement are some of the best virtues a parent can display to their child.
If a child has difficulty in learning to read or write, we don't remove them from school do we?
“Likewise don't stop swimming”
“Should I watch my child swim from the poolside or from the viewing area upstairs?”
A: One of the greatest gifts we can bestow on our children is the gift of independence!
A child who has a teacher in the water and a parent beside the pool is receiving mixed messages.
A child may not grasp which adult is really in charge of the situation.
Remember, the whole reason you have brought your child to swimming is so they can become independent swimmers.
Your child's teachers are trained professionals, allow them to do what they do best!
Moving away from the pool while your child is in lesson will help them to know that you trust both them and their teacher.. Viewing area is best!
“Should we come to swimming if our child is a bit sick?”
A: Small irritations such as a cough or a runny nose should not stop your child from coming to swimming. These are part of life and are necessary to build a strong immune system.
Generally, if a child is able to take a bath, then they can also come swimming.
Exceptions include diarrhoea or vomiting when the child should not be brought into the pool for at least 48 hours. Bugs and germs are almost always airborne and not waterborne, and our chlorination system, with 4-6 tests per day, ensures that the water at Rangitoto Swim School is always very healthy.
If in doubt seek doctor's advice.
“Do our children need to wear caps and goggles?”
A: Many swim schools demand that children who participate in their lessons wear a swimming cap. We don't. The reason is that most pool owners don't want hair getting caught in their filter systems.
At Rangitoto Swim School we have a lint trap which takes the hair out of the water before it reaches the filtration system.
If a child has long hair which can get in the way while they're swimming, then a cap is a great idea! Caps can also keep hair dry which is a huge bonus especially in the winter months.
Goggles are an absolute MUST! Most children don't like water in their eyes, and even if this is not a problem, the human eye is not designed to see clearly under the water. Quality goggles change blurred underwater vision, into an exciting crystal clear view of your underwater world. When was the last time you saw a diver go into the water without a facemask? Never!