Keep kids swimming- for smarts!

There are surprising benefits to year-round swim lessons.  As the weather turns cooler and summer ends, keep ’em swimming!  It can make their learning easier.

Research out of Australia https://app.griffith.edu.au/news/2013/08/13/swimming-a-smart-move-for-children/shows   proves that children, who were taught to swim by 5 years, had statistically higher IQs.

Turns out, some of what you learn in the classroom (or in your day-to-day experiences) is similar to what you learn in a pool, says lead study author Robyn Jorgensen, Ph.D. is a professor and senior fellow at the Griffith Institute for Educational Research.

SWIMkids USA http://www.swimkidsaz.com  provided data for this highly regarded study. Called the Early Years Swimming Research Project, it included date with 45-swim schools across the globe. Researchers surveyed the parents of more than 7,000 children age 5 and under and found that the age kids learned to swim correlated with when they began accomplishing certain skills.

5-Reasons to Swim for Smarts!

  • Jorgensen’s study found, the earlier the child started and the longer they remained in the swimming lessons, the greater the gains.
  • Kids who are taught to swim at an early age hit certain physical and developmental milestones faster than kids who learn later in life.
  • In pre-school, early swimmers had better visual-motor skills (like cutting paper and drawing lines and shapes), but also fared better as they got older (i.e. understanding directions, math, and writing and reading skills).
  • There’s a strong synergy between language and action with swimming that’s essential for many cognitive and motor skills as they grow older. Kids learn at an early age to hear language and make connections with their bodies (for example, counting to 10 while kicking).
  • It doesn’t take long to see the effects. When researchers observed swimming lessons, they found that the kids’ eyes blinked in preparation for the ready cue — “one, two, three, go! ” — a clear sign that young kids can understand language and react accordingly even if they can’t communicate everything clearly.

From swim lessons to swim teams, let us at SWIMkids USA know how we can help you with your child’s success!

SWIMkids USA  -where children love to learn.

Ho Ho Holiday Gratitude

Happy December. We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to you for making your family a part of our family!

Reflecting on the past year, we are tremendously grateful SWIMkids USA received numerous prestigious awards that distinguished our organization and our leadership as best-in-class.

We appreciate knowing these designations are validations that we’re on the right track with the specific methodology we follow to help children love to learn.

This year’s honors include:

  • 2015 Best Aquatic Program – Arizona Parks & Recreation Association
  • 2015 Most Admired Leader, Lana Whitehead – Phoenix Business Journal
  • 2015 Best Place to Work – The Arizona Republic
  • 2015 Best of Mesa Recreational Activity – East Valley Tribune newspaper
  • 2015 Safety Geek Award – Maricopa County Safe Kids Coalition
  • 2015 Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award, Lana Whitehead – USA Swimming. (This highly prestigious honor from USA Swimming Convention goes to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to safe swimming in the United States.)

Here are more things we are grateful for!

Melissa Sutton: I am grateful for my family, health and work and for the heightened way that during the holiday season we often think of others. We try to visit family more often during this time or reach out to friends and family we haven’t spoken with in a while. When I was a child, we used to go out to the family’s 40 acres and spend hours searching for the perfect Christmas tree to cut down, haul back and set up in our living room.Those trips also included instructions on how to get the tree down (if in a dense part of the forest) and how to drag it out – especially on those instances we had hiked a mile in. And then, the decorating began! That was worth every moment of cold and hiking through snow up to my waist. Oh, how I loved to decorate the tree – and still do!

Nathan Askins: I am so grateful for all the wonderful families and children that I have been blessed to teach this year. They all have played such a wonderful part in my life and I am so happy to know all of them. On Christmas when I was a kid, my sisters and all my cousins would sleep over at my grandparents’ house. We would wake up early and my grandpa (who loved Christmas more than any kid) would line us up youngest to oldest. He would bring us to the door that led us to our Christmas present. He would let each child peek through the door for a millisecond, building up the anticipation before Christmas morning began!

Shaunna Risinger: I am grateful for my family. I am also grateful for being able to work with so many amazing families and little ones each day. I love my work family and I have the best boss anyone could ask for! My favorite would have to be road tripping to Arizona for Christmas with my family. I loved spending Christmases out here as I grew up in Michigan and loved packing shorts and t-shirts for a December/January trip. SO many great memories were made on these trips.

Britt Kimball: I am thankful for my job at SWIMkids USA because I know I’ve made a difference in the lives of my students. As an aquatic instructor, I equipped my students with the skills they need to be safer in an emergency. I taught them how to live active, healthy lives. I built muscle, smiles and brain power. I can share these ideals because Lana Whitehead has taught me how to articulate them. She started SWIMkids USA because water safety is her passion, which inspires my passion as well. I truly think that the curriculum she created is the best in the country

 

Keep swimming – for smarts!

The year was 1971 and new mom Lana Whitehead took her baby son Lance in the water at the YMCA to be her student in a solo swim lesson.

Bystanders watched in amazement!

There was baby Lance, bonding with his mom and learning interesting movements designed to make him safer from drowning..

Soon the YMCA managers were asking Lana if other moms and babies could join her in more formal class.

In a nutshell, that’s how SWIMkids USA  started and fast-forward to today and baby Lance grew up to be smart!  He does the accounting for his family business, which is the largest one location swim schools in AZ and one of the most highly respected swim schools in the USA.

A few years ago, because it is so highly regarded in the swim industry,  researchers turned to SWIMkids USA as one of the global sites to provide data on a very cool project about swimming and the connection to how it makes kids smart.

Check the results out here:  Griffith University Swim Study  

It proves that children who were taught to swim by 5 years, had statistically higher IQs!

“Some of what you learn in the classroom is similar to what you learn in a pool,” said lead study author Robyn Jorgensen, Ph.D., a professor and senior fellow at the Griffith Institute for Educational Research.

“While we expected the children to show better physical development and perhaps be more confident through swimming, the results in literacy and numeracy really shocked us,” lead researcher Jorgensen said.

Called the Early Years Swimming research project, it included data with 45-swim schools across the globe, including SWIMkids USA in Mesa. Researchers surveyed the parents of more than 7,000 children age 5 and under and found that the age kids learned to swim correlated with when they began accomplishing certain skills.

5-Reasons to Swim All Year

  • Jorgensen’s study found, the earlier the child started and the longer they remained in the swimming lessons, the greater the gains.
  • Children taught to swim at an early age hit some physical and developmental milestones faster than those who learn later in life.
  • In pre-school, early swimmers had better visual-motor skills (like cutting paper and drawing lines and shapes), but also fared better as they got older (i.e. understanding directions, math, and writing and reading skills).
  • There’s a synergy between language and action with swimming that’s essential for many cognitive and motor skills as children grow older. Small children learn to hear language and make connections with their bodies (for example, counting to 10 while kicking during a swim class)
  • It doesn’t take long to see the effects. When researchers observed swimming lessons, they found that the students’ eyes blinked in preparation for the ready cue — “one, two, three, go! ” — showing that young kids can understand language and react accordingly even if they can’t communicate everything clearly.

From swim lessons to swim teams, the professionals at SWIMkids USA know how to help your child experience learning success. Also, if you don’t visit us all-year-round, you are missing another way Lance rocks your child’s world.

No matter what the season, it is Lance who creates the ever-rotating and always beautiful welcome displays around the facility that reflects the business of the organization he helped create: SWIMkids USA -where children love to learn.

How To: Practice Layers of Drowning Prevention

Unfortunately, we’re off to a rough start with drowning incidents this year. A pool is 100 times more likely to kill a child than a gun. According to City of Phoenix statistics, there have been 13 drowning incidents, which resulted in four fatalities– two adults and two children.

It’s vitally important to watch your children around water. That means not only around pools, but also buckets and bathtubs. Simply covering your pool is not enough, as was sadly proven when two twin girls drowned on top of a pool cover that had filled with rain.

At SWIMkids USA, our first priority is to give little ones the skills they need to save themselves in an emergency. To do so, we teach to mastery, and practice something the National Drowning Prevention Alliance calls “layers of protection.”

 We’ve probably scared you by now. So, what are the layers of protection, and how can you implement them? Here’s an easy-to-understand drowning prevention guideline. (Note: this is a simplified version of the NDPA’s guide.)

  1. Supervise at all times. It’s obvious that you need to constantly watch your kids around water to keep them safe. However, you need to supervise them even when you aren’t participating in aquatic activities. Always know where your children are, and always be aware of potential dangers in unfamiliar environments- such as a friend’s house. If you can’t locate your little one, always check the pool or spa first. See the video above for a more in-depth explanation.
  2. Install physical layers limiting access to pool areas. This means putting a fence around your yard, and enclosing your pool. The pool enclosure should have a self-latching gate that latches at least 54″ above the ground, preferably with a lock. Make a rule to never, under any circumstances, prop open the gate for any reason. Be sure to place all patio furniture, garden items and play structures at least 4 feet from the wall to prevent climbing over the fence. Additionally, place a cover over your pool.
  3. Invest in an alarm system. Doors and windows with access to the pool area should have alarms to warn adults about potential outside activity. Water (surface and subsurface) alarms can be placed in the pool, and they will alert you when the water has been disturbed.  In addition, install a lock that is out of reach of children on the doorway leading to the pool.
  4. Learn CPR and rescue breathing. Mere seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Here at SWIMkids USA, we offer community CPR certification so you can equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to save someone’s life.
  5. Enroll in swim lessons. Everyone should know how to swim! And once your kids begin to learn, don’t stop. In order to retain swimming ability, you have to use it.

We hope this short guide helps you understand that we need to practice layers of protection all year long! Please keep your kids safe around water, and help us make this Arizona’s safest year yet.