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Infant Aquatic Survival Handbook

Parent Handbook & Lesson Guidelines



The 4-week package includes lessons 4 days per week for 4 weeks and the fun Friday/Silly Saturday punch card for 6 punches.  The cost of the package is $275.00 plus a $45.00 (non refundable)  registration fee.

 The 6-week package includes lessons 4 days per week for 6 weeks and the fun Friday/Silly Saturday punch card for 6 punches.  The cost of the package is $410.00 plus a $45.00 (non refundable) registration fee. 

 All courses  require a 4 or 6 week package fee and the $45.00 (non-refundable)registration fee to paid in advance at the time of registration with only a 60% refund if you cancel and only 40% refund if you cancel within a week of starting the class. 


We will not rush a child, nor allow the parents to do so. Usually a child is doing very well after four weeks of lessons. This depends on the individual child and your orientation to water. You can generally expect lessons to run 4-6 weeks.


Swimming lessons are approximately 10-12 minutes in length, four days per week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Since your lessons are short, it is helpful if you arrive 5 minutes before your scheduled time. This allows sufficient time to have your child ready to go into the water (without rushing) at the scheduled time. Consistency is a very important ingredient of the program. Steady attendance will increase your child’s rate of progress.  Because of heavy scheduling, I allow two excused absences in a 4 week period for make up lessons, if I am notified 24 hours in advance.


No.  If your child begins lessons on Monday, you are expected to pay for the week.  Heavy scheduling makes it impossible to offer make-up lessons.  If your child has an illness, I will attempt to work with you; however, if you miss because of a scheduling conflict or just choose not to attend on any given day, I cannot make-up that day I allow two excused absences in a 4 week period for make up lessons, if I am notified 24 hours in advance.


Please do not start your child in this program unless you fully intend to complete the entire learning process. Once your child begins lessons, the balance of your tuition is non-refundable  if you withdraw your child. The first few weeks are a period of low self-esteem for the child and lack of confidence for the parent. It can be a time of very low self-confidence in the water because the child has not had time to acquire and perfect his/her skills. The child is just learning to trust me. If the child’s lessons are terminated during this time, your child will only remember being fearful or insecure. It takes time to work through our fears about the water.


For your child’s safety and as a courtesy to everyone else, all children who are not potty trained must wear a snugly fitting, reusable, cloth swim diaper during lessons. Disposable diapers are not allowed in the pool because they are ineffective in preventing pool contamination. Remove diapers and then dress your child in his/her swim diaper.  I have been recommending  that the child wear the disposable swim diaper under his reusable swim diaper and then his swim suit, for the girls wear the disposable swim diaper under her suit and then the reusable swim diaper over suit. 

Be sure to bring two large, dry towels. After the lesson, your child should be dried and dressed in warm clothes. Use a warm blow dryer, (in locker room) if necessary, to dry hair. Please arrange your schedule so that you do not have to rush with a cold, wet baby or child.


DO NOT FEED YOUR CHILD FOR TWO HOURS PRECEDING HIS/HER LESSON. DO NOT ALLOW whole fruit, especially with a skin (such as certain berries, grapes, etc.) because it cannot be digested. Avoid other foods that take time to digest and all milk products for several hours. Your child may eat anything immediately after his lesson. All children swallow a lot of air and some water during the lessons. When the stomach is distended the muscles tighten up across the abdomen, and a child will burp. If there is food in the stomach when this happens, the food will come out with the air and the child will vomit or spit up in the pool. We need to avoid this as much as possible.

FUN FRIDAY/Silly Saturday!

I am delighted to announce a Fun Day. This is a day devoted entirely to a child’s fun experience in the water. It is offered to all of my students who are enrolled in the Infant Aquatics Program. Water play is a healthy component to their development, and practicing skills on regular basis boosts retention promotes self-esteem and accelerates stroke development.

Parents may choose either a Fun Friday or a Silly Saturday per week as long as their child is attending lessons. Your immediate family may attend Fun Day (mother, father, baby and baby’s siblings)


Your baby needs updates not because he/she will forget his skills, but because he will outgrow them. Especially during the first two years, babies’ rapid growth causes their center of gravity to shift, which affects their ability to float. Updates, or brush-up lessons, are similar to seeing the pediatrician for a well-baby check-up. There is another reason why your child needs updates. Experience indicates that your child will retain most of what he learns. However, a child will lose his self-confidence. That is one of the main reasons for attending FUN FRIDAY/Silly Saturday.

What Is After Infant Aquatic Survival?

Upon completion of Infant Aquatic Survival lessons, children 12 months of age and older who continue swimming once a week in our group lessons seldom require additional private lessons. In addition, continuing to swim on a regular basis under our supervision enhances skills and allows children to complete the process of becoming safe and skilled recreational swimmers.

For those unable to attend weekly group classes, update lessons every 6 months or so are strongly recommended due to the vast changes in bodily growth and development that babies and young children undergo.

We then offer Wise Aquatics Starfish Swimming Group Lessons for ages 3 and up, as well as a swim team for those who have learned their strokes and are ready for competition.


Please call my office  for information concerning the weather and cancellation of lessons. Lessons may be suspended for a short time period for lightning.

STATEMENT OF LIABILITY AND PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY Parents, you and your children’s safety are your total responsibility until I take your child out of your hands and into the water in a scheduled training exercise. There is no lifeguard on duty. I am not  responsible for you, your children, or visitors that may be with you at the lesson. Children waiting for  their lessons or dressing after lessons, as well as any other children brought to the pool, must be  kept beside you or on your lap. Do not leave children unattended for any reason.

About Safety and Learning

You may have heard something about hyponatremia or water intoxication. This condition is caused by too much water being taken in or not being excreted. The first thing that I will teach your child to do is hold his/her breath. This will decrease the likelihood of much water being taken in. Also, lessons are short, about 10 minutes or so, which also will help. In addition, there is only one child in  the lesson; I have only your child on whom to fully focus my attention. Please ask if you have any concerns about your child’s ability to hold his breath.

If your child has health issues, Please discuss these with me before lessons begin. If your child has ear tubes, please follow the advice of your ENT, but please make note that this advice varies from Dr. to Dr. Water does not cause otitis media, the type of ear infection most commonly associated with young children. Use eardrops only if your Dr. advises you to do so.

Emotional Issues  Some children take to lessons very easily and adapt to strangers well. Other children have a harder time. They may cry or ask for mommy. Swimming to mommy or daddy the first few days usually helps with this “stranger anxiety.” Swimming is a new skill for a small child, and learning to hold your breath and go under can be scary at first. The more positive you can be the better your child will do.We can go more slowly but each child needs to develop a relationship with me. The trust that  follows will usually take care of most of the anxiety that kids have about going under and learning to float.

I will automatically check your child out to see if he/she can self-rescue in clothes. Ask about any special problems you may have on your property or where you vacation. (lakes, docks, murky water, trips to the ocean, etc.)

Undoing Old Habits

Old habits die hard, as they say. If your child has used floaties, a swim trainer bathing suit, a life jacket, or other such flotation device your lessons may take longer because I have to teach your   child to attain the correct posture in the water (horizontal). He/she may have learned to be vertical  and do nothing, or kick vigorously while going no where. This will take extra time and your child may be very upset. He has come to expect to be magically held up, and when that extra amount of buoyancy is taken away, he may be a bit panicked. Not to worry, we can work through this, although some students may never be as “automatic” to go to their backs after using floatation for extended periods of time.  If you need to get in touch with me during the day, please call 940-626-1307, I can be emailed at You may also leave a message at FNW, and it will be relayed to me.

 Kim Emery Phones: 940-626-1307 FNW: 940-627-2708 Ext. 2607

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is there a guarantee that my child will be safe or Drown- Proofed?


Q. What can my child learn in 10 minutes? 

A. Young children learn differently than older children and adults. They learn by doing something, and repeating it over and over. Most clubs and rec centers have lessons once weekly, however, when the child comes back, what was learned the previous week has to be re-learned. In our methodology, the child comes back immediately the next day, and builds on what he has done the day before, four times weekly. In this way, he learns to trust his instructor, and to practice by repetition the skills necessary for swimming and survival in the water. Instead of 40 minutes per week, he gets 40 minutes broken into 4 usable sessions. Children get cold and have short attention spans, so the rest of the longer lesson is often useless anyway.

Q. Are kids likely to have ear infections due to swim lessons?  

A. No. Most young children have otitis media, a middle ear infection which is not caused by swimming. It is treated with antibiotics, and the only contraindication for swimming is that sometimes an ear infection, in a child predisposed to them, causes them to swim off balance. Water causes swimmer’s ear, which most infants and young children don’t get. Please check with your child’s dr. on the use of “swim ear drops”, which can be placed in their ears immediately following a lesson.

Q. Will my child get water in his or her lungs as a result of swimming lessons? 

A. No. We have a flap of cartilage at the back of the throat to keep water out of the trachea, or windpipe. While they are learning to hold their breath, sometimes they cough, but this is totally normal. Sometimes kids swallow air and need to burp during lessons. This is also not harmful. It is a result of swallowing air during the lesson. It sometimes occurs if a child cries during beginning lessons.

Q. Will my child become afraid of the water as a result of lessons? 

A. I highly highly highly encourage parents to bring their child in for FUN swimming (Fun Friday/Silly Saturday) or to have FUN swimming at their home, showing their child that swimming is still fun and not ” a lesson”.   The single most usual reason for kids to be upset in lessons is separation anxiety. Mom is really important and although mom may have prepared herself for lessons, she cannot prepare a baby or toddler who is non-verbal. It takes some time for the child to get used to new teachers and a new learning environment. The only experience most have with water is the bath. After a few weeks, almost all children are swimming calmly. They may be opposed to floating on their backs, because as soon as possible, all children want to sit up. Just try changing a diaper. Some children get comfortable in a few days, others take more time. Learning to swim is not easy, but once learned, it is a lot of fun. As a child gets older the biggest difficulty is the back float!

Once again, The first few weeks are a period of low self-esteem for the child and lack of confidence for the parent. It can be a time of very low self-confidence in the water because the child has not had time to acquire and perfect his/her skills. The child is just learning to trust me. If the child’s lessons are terminated during this time, your child will only remember being fearful or insecure. It takes time to work through our fears about the water.  

Q. What is the average amount of time for a child to learn to swim and float?

A. About 16-27 lessons, or 4-7 weeks is average  for kids to learn to swim/float/swim. This is a complicated skill, and it has to be broken down into parts so that the kids can learn the component parts. They can then put it together. Be patient. This is one of the most valuable things young children can learn.

Q. Will my child take longer if he (she) has been in a life jacket or other flotation devices?

A. What is learned first is what is retained in a situation of panic or high anxiety. If the child has learned to become vertical, while thrashing and kicking, that is most likely what he will do if he falls into the water. Swim lessons will help, but learning to swim in the correct horizontal position may be much harder at first. The child has learned to essentially tread water vertically. It must be  unlearned, and then the new skill learned.

Q. When can my child learn “real” swimming?

A. We teach swimming developmentally. When a child is ready for a new skill set, we will introduce t. Infants can learn to roll to the back and float, older toddlers to swim, then float, then swim; children around 4 can begin to use their arms in a coordinated way. From 4-6 children can begin to learn the 4 basic strokes, but it takes a long time to perfect them. Breast stroke and butterfly are particularly difficult. Because our kids have a lot of instruction on the back, many take to back stroke easily. Freestyle comes fairly easily, too, as they are used to rolling, they just need to refine it.

Q. What should I do with my child in the water? 

A. Your instructor will show you some easy ways to send your child to the steps or side, or to another person. You need to show your child that swimming is fun and that is something that the family likes and values. Your child gets his opinions from you; if you never go swimming, he might ask himself why we are taking these lessons. Get in and participate. Come to group classes. Make it fun