Blog - Swim Jim


Spring Swimming

Spring is a very busy time for everyone. The weather gets nicer, we all start to get out a little more, and with that first day in a t-shirt, we all start to think about the summer. With summer just around the corner, Spring is also an excellent time to get your children in the pool for swimming lessons before the season starts.

We believe there are three critical success factors in aquatic education. First, the program should incorporate safety behaviors into the curriculum so children can learn responsible conduct in and around water. Summer is the quintessential season for swimming, but also because it is the season when children are most likely to swim unsupervised or without the benefit of a life-guard. Second, a successful swimming program must teach all of the basic swimming strokes and skills. Because children learn skill sets best through repetition, it is advantageous for them to have as much time as possible in the water to learn, practice and apply their newly acquired skills. Third, involving parents and caregivers in the education process is essential, particularly early on, so they too can learn effective methods of working with their children as well as understanding their level of competency.

Just like learning to catch a ball, shoot a basket, run the bases or conquer the five positions of ballet, it takes time to learn to blow bubbles, balance o front and back float, or master an advanced stroke. Swimming require dedication and time not simply because repetition induces muscle memory and skill development, but also because for the mental hurdles and skill progression inherent in swimming. For these reasons, the first few sessions are committed to breaking and/or regaining ground. By starting now, you can prepare your kids for swimming safely and confidently, whether at a swimming pool, in summer camp, or on the beach.


The Story Behind the Baker Act

You might not know this but drowning is the leading cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 14. The vast majority of these deaths could have been prevented through proper education and supervision. This is, of course, is precisely what we are committed to stopping here at SwimJim.  And while our mission to provide children and adults with the skills necessary to become safe and successful swimmers is one that does much to prevent unnecessary drownings and injuries. Yet, there is a danger in swimming pools that falls, sadly, beyond the scope of swimming lessons. And that is the condition of the pools themselves. You can never be sure that everyone who might have access to your pool will be a safe swimmer and a fence goes a long way to mitigate that danger. However, a problem that has recently come to prominence is the issue of unsafe drains.

In 2002, Virginia Graeme Baker, the grand-daughter of the Texas statesman and former Secretary of State James Baker, drowned at the bottom of a spa in what is known as a suction-pump entrapment death.  In the past, drains were not properly regulated and thus had a suction power far greater than they needed to be.  Every year children die because of unsafe drains, which is why James Baker pushed this bill through in order to save these lives. Many of you will recall pools shutting down throughout the city and, indeed, the country. And while it is a great inconvenience we should all be grateful that our pools and spas (hot tubs) are safer. The pools are being emptied and the drains replaced or redesigned so that nothing can obstruct them and thus create a suction stop.

Just a short little post to keep you all in the loop. Thanks for reading and see you in the water