Water awareness for infants
The Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre Infants and pre-school program is designed to assist infants, young children and their parents to become familiar with the water and develop water confidence.
Through participating in a range of safe and enjoyable activities, we believe this forms a basis for the development of basic swimming and water safety skills through play, exploration and encouragement.
Activities are chosen after considerable thought given to their age appropriateness and suitability of the skill level of the group. Infants and children will benefit from an environment that is predictable, therefore our lessons are based around establishing patterns through repetition.
The Swim School recommends free “water play” (under close adult supervision) after your lesson. This allows your infant time to consolidate skills with you that were introduced during lesson time.
|WaterBabes - WBabe
||6 months - 16 months
|WaterTots - WTot
||16 months - 30+ months
|Early Tadpoles - ETad
||30 months - 36 months
Early Tadpoles is designed to bridge the gap between WaterTots and Tadpoles, readying the infant for lessons independent from the parent/carer. Classes focus on minimising the level of involvement from the parent/carer over the course of time in this level. The Early Tadpole level is only offered to swimmers who have been promoted from WaterTots. Progression out of Early Tadpoles is based on ability and age.
The following is a guide to some of the many skills to be practiced and mastered over your infant’s time in the waterbaby program:
- Infant happy to participate in lesson
- Water confidence in “playtime”
- Ability to demonstrate paddling arms and kicking legs
- Underwater submersions (progressing from assisted towards a free float)
- Breath control (mouth closed progressing to bubbles)
- Self submersions
- Submerge, turn and climb out (assisted through to unassisted)
All parent/child lessons take place in the 18m program pool. The pool is enclosed and covered, purpose-built for swimming lessons all year round. With water heated at 31 degrees Celsius, the air temperature is kept at an ideal level for the participants and teacher’s comfort. Water quality is regularly and is kept at maximum standards for government regulations.
What to Bring
- Babies and infants who are not toilet trained must wear aqua nappies or disposable swimming nappies while participating in lessons. Cloth or general disposable nappies are not permitted as they can cause hazards with the pool’s filtration system.
- The participating parent is asked to wear a T-Shirt over-the-top of their swimmers to every lesson, which will be used as a teaching technique, for infants to “reach-and-grab”.
- Remember towels for parent and baby, a spare can be helpful. Children should be warmed, dried and dressed after the lesson before leaving the centre, especially during cooler months.
- Sunscreen and other creams can make infants slippery and difficult to hold, extra care will be required especially for parent/baby classes.
- To avoid excessive heat loss in your infant, keep the shoulders and torso immersed in the water for as much of the session as possible. N.B check to ensure the infants face is not being accidentally submerged.
- Please refrain from having children eating and drinking immediately before their lesson is due to commence. Consuming food and drink too fast and too close to swimming time can cause an upset tummy which can have disastrous effects and lead to an unproductive lesson.
At LPAC, floatation aids are used throughout the program with the goal of adding colour and interest, providing variety and assisting with building confidence. Floatation aids are used in balanced way so as not to create a dependency. We believe it is of utmost importance for the infant to be able to master the water environment on their own. So outside of lesson times, give the infants practice and playtime with mum or dad in the water, without back floats attached to them. Floatation aids that attach themselves to the child’s body can give the parent and child a false sense of security and demote the swimming skills being worked on by your child’s instructor. Please be reminded that aids are no substitute for constant and close adult supervision when infants and children are in and around the water. Irrespective of aquatic ability, NO infant or child should be considered water safe.
Medical Conditions / Special requirements
Please inform your child’s instructor or the LTS Supervisor of any medical conditions or special requirements that we should be aware of while your child is participating in their swimming lessons. This can include allergies, impairments such as hearing or sight, asthma, behavioural tendencies and any other information that may prove useful for your teacher to consider when planning your infant’s lesson. At LPAC, our aim is to create well structured and rounded lessons that allow for all children to progress through the program. Any information you can provide to achieve this is much appreciated.
Please avoid bringing your child to swimming lessons when showing signs of a fever or other symptoms such as a rash or runny nose. These symptoms are often the signs of an infection and are a risk to other infants in the class and the instructor. The children will only benefit from the program when they are healthy, happy and able to actively participate and enjoy the program. We ask parents to ensure that infant’s are in good health while participating in lessons.
Most infants will not be toilet trained when they commence swimming lessons, and will still be wearing nappies. Where possible, encourage infants to use the toilet prior to the start of class. During the lesson aqua nappies or snug fitted swim pants (for older children) will prevent any accidents from escaping. Infants must be removed from the water if they have soiled their pants and thoroughly cleaned before returning to the lesson in a clean pair of pants. Infants should be encouraged to use the bathroom prior to every lesson as good toileting practices promote good hygienic conditions in the pool.