Paragon Swim Centre

FAQ

Our Instructors

All of our instructors are fully qualified, and undergo intensive and on going training. Most of our assistant instructors (grey shirts) are qualified but some are still in the learning process trying to gain their qualification. Paragon Swim Centre is proud to be a school dedicated to teaching both instructors and students

How much are your lessons? - See Swim school page

What time are your lessons? - See Class levels on the Swim school page

How old does my child have to be to swim on their own?

We start children on their own from two and a half years old. This gives them enough physical and mental development to cope being without mum or dad and to listen to direction from the instructor. If your child is new to swimming or has had a previous "bad" experience, do not worry. Our instructors are trained and will do everything they can to assist youand your child.

What should I do if my child cries and is afraid at swimming lessons?

It can be hard to know what to do when your child cries during swimming lessons. A certain amount of crying is to be expected from most beginners and is totally acceptable. Crying is a natural expression from your child due to a new class experience in the water, and/or separation from you. We try and ease your child’s discomfort by actively working with them 1 on 1 away from the class environment. We try and make swimming a fun experience by playing games and easing your child into the lessons and never forcing them.

What can you do as a parent?

Try and prepare your child for their new experience. Explain to them that they will be with an instructor and how they will make new friends while learning to swim. Explain to them how they will play new games and learn to blow bubbles and float in the water. Assure them that they will never be forced under the water or let go until they are fully ready.

If your child is nervous prior to swimming lessons, acknowledge that you understand they are afraid and then reassure them that you know they will be able to do the different things that the instructor will ask them to try. Walk your child over to the instructor and hand them over. Then calmly walk away and sit on a bench. (If you look terrified, so will your child.) By handing your child over to the instructor you are telling your child that they can trust them.

If your crying child continually looks and calls to you, break eye contact and move to the other side of the pool. By breaking eye contact with your child during lessons, your child will become more involved in the lesson and the instructor will have their full attention. Feel free to take a peek at your child without them noticing. Make sure you keep a pleasant expression as this will reassure them there is no reason for alarm.

Make sure you share any negative experiences that your child has had in an aquatic environment with the instructor.

Crying is usually toughest on the parent, be persistent and don’t give up. After the first few lessons children usually become comfortable in the class. Do not delay or avoid swimming lessons; this can make a small problem worse. Learning to swim is an important safety aspect of your child’s life. Until they can swim confidently lessons should be non-negotiable. Children don’t have the maturity to understand that they are at risk around water. As a parent you need to have the courage and confidence to make learning to swim an important priority.

How long is too long for your child to cry?

On average, most children have stopped crying after the third or fourth lessons. At the least you should notice that the crying is becoming less and less each lesson. If not, you are more than welcome to come and speak to the reception staff and we can come up with different solutions to help transition your child.

What causes fear of the water?

Some of the more common causes of early fear of the water have to do with the way parents relate to their children in and around water. These include:

  • Being forced into water activities before being prepared.

  • Parents who have unknowingly communicated their fear of the water onto their child.

  • Being involved in or witnessing a traumatic water accident.

Fear of the water is acquired over time. The older a child is when first beginning swimming lessons, the more challenging their fear will be to overcome.

What if my child has swum elsewhere?

We recommend that all children over the age of five that have previous swimming experience undertake a FREE assessment. The assessment takes about 5 to 10 minutes and allows us to see what the child is capable of and which of our levels they should be placed into. You must book in for an assessment to insure that we have sufficient time to assess your child. 

Good reasons for teaching my baby to swim

  1. Babies less than a year old accept the water more readily than older children.

  2. Fear of water is acquired as children grow older: the longer a child is kept away from water, the more likely the child will develop aqua-phobia.

  3. Babies can exercise more muscles in the water, they are less restricted by gravity and their ability to sit or stand. This increased strength often manifests itself in early acquisition of physical skills like walking.

  4. Swimming improves babies cardiovascular fitness. Although babies are limited in how much they can improve their endurance, swimming does have a beneficial effect.

  5. Early mastery of water movements gives children a head start in learning basic swimming skills.

  6. Water helps improve co-ordination and balance by forcing babies to move bilaterally to maintain their equilibrium.

  7. Warm water combined with gentle exercise relaxes and stimulates babies appetites. They usually eat and sleep better on swimming days.

  8. Doctors often recommend swimming as the exercise of choice for asthmatics. For many asthmatics, exercise produces bronchial hyperactivity.  Swimming stimulates less wheezing than other forms of exercise, possibly because the warm, moist air around pools is less irritating to the lungs.

  9. Babies flourish in the focused attention their parents lavish on them during swimming.

  10. As babies learn how to manoeuvre in the water on there own their independence and self-confidence blossom.

  11. Swimming provides babies with lots of skin-to-skin contact with their parents that psychologists say may deepen the bond between parent and child.

  12. Learning to swim is not only fun, healthy activity but a safety measure as well. (Drowning is the major cause of accidental death in Australia for under 5s.  For each drowning, many more are left with permanent brain damage. Learn to swim ... its great!)

Written by Kochen, C.L. Ph.D and McCabe, J. B.A.;  The Baby Swim Book, Leisure Press, 1986

Why swim all year round?

Swimming is an important life skill and the risks do not simply disappear during winter, so neither should swimming. A break in swimming that lasts many months will often result in a loss of skills, sometimes it may not seem like your child is progressing but that are maintaining skill level and that in itself is progress. For parents that are in the water with their children, the extra attention will help strengthen the natural bond between parent and child. Our pool temperature is maintained at a constant 32 degrees all year round, so children will not be uncomfortable in the water. At the end of lessons in the colder months spend a little extra time drying and keeping your children warm to keep swimming in winter a comfortable experience.

Swimming is one of the best activities for children and it should happen all year round not only in summer.

How Long will it take to learn to swim?

Swimming lessons should not be seen as something that has an "end" or can be "finished". Swimming lessons should be seen as a long term process, that is built into your child's weekly routine. Attending one lesson per week consistently will attain better results than swimming many times over a short period. There are times where swimming twice per week or swimming every day can help give that little push needed to pass a level (holiday lessons are perfect for that push), but nothing will beat consistency especially when it comes to childrens development.

So then comes the question, when should we stop? As a general idea, once a child has passed our level Seal, they can confidently swim freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. These are the three main strokes one of which is a survival stroke, however reaching this level doesn't mean that they should give up swimming, it is important to keep developing their skills and it is great for physical fitness.

How will my child progress?

We have two assessments per term (week 5 and 8). The instructors notify the supervisors of students they feel are ready to progress, the supervisors will then assess those students against the criteria for their given level. If for any reason you feel that your child is not progressing, is getting bored or is ready for the next level, please notify reception staff so that the supervisors can assess your child and let you know if they are ready or what they need to work on and how we will achieve that goal.

Why do we choose to use the "Back Pack" type floatie?

The back pack floatie is great for beginners as it allows a smooth transaction as children progress and become stronger. It also allows for arm movement unlike the arm floaties, and as your child progresses we can just take off a foam strip instead of trying to guess how much air we should put in them as with the arm floats. It creates an excellent centre of gravity and allows independence, we have had some children from as young as 17 months old swim independently using the back pack floaties.

Can I book ahead into next term if i am not currently booked in?

We do not take bookings for future terms any earlier than week 8 of the previous term. You can however book in for the remainder of the current term, which will guarantee you a place in the following term.

Got another question? Get in Touch! 08 8396 6978