Backyard Pools and Water Safety

You may be thinking about enrolling your child in swimming programs for kids due to a new backyard pool at your home or for summer safety. Having your child take swimming lessons is a great way to ensure safety. However, it is also important for parents to learn more about backyard pool safety so the right precautions can be taken. Below are a few tips to help you learn how to be safe while enjoying the backyard swimming pool.

Top Tips

If you have a backyard swimming pool, be sure to enclose the pool with a fence. Have a self-closing or self-latching gate and keep the gate closed at all times. It is also a good idea to create rules for the pool. An example of this could be, that a child has to have an adult with them at all times or even no glass in or around the swimming pool.

It is also recommended that you have a first aid kit,safety equipment including a ring buoy, and working phone nearby. This way, if an accident occurs, you are prepared. Time is of the essence and you need to be able to call for help at a moment’s notice. Also consider having an action plan in place. This could include emergency signals, emergency procedures and additional safety equipment on standby.

Any kiddie pools or small above ground pools should be emptied when not in use. This helps to avoid any accidents as children can easily wander off and fall in.

Never leave your child unattended at the swimming pool for any reason. It can take only seconds for a child to disappear underwater and drown. Non-swimmers should be advised to wear lifejackets or PFDs, however this is not a substitute for adult supervision.

Swimming Lessons

It is a good idea to always enroll children in swimming lessons. They can learn the basics and what to do in a water safety situation. Adults who are weak swimmers should also brush up on their skills as well as undergo first aid training. This will ensure the adult can act if a child or another individual is in danger. If you must leave the pool for any reason, take the kiddos with you. Even if your child has had swimming lessons, it is better to be safe and have them get out of the pool then to remain inside and a possible drowning could occur.

Swim during the day for the best visibility and avoid getting in the water if you hear thunder or see lightning. Always use sunscreen to protect the skin, even on cloudy days.

Overall, swimming lessons are an important part of water safety. At Zodiac Swim School, we offer quality swimming programs for kids of all ages. You can easily find a class to fit your child’s age or skill level. Have them learn the basic skills for swimming and continue training so they have the ability to stay safe in the water. Contact our office today to learn more.

Staying Safe this Summer in the Water

For many families in Canada, the summer months are spent on the water. From swimming to boating, there are many activities one can enjoy while the temperatures are sweltering. However, the summer is also a prime time for tragic water-related accidents and fatalities in the country. It is important to learn more about the risks and dangers of water in the summer to keep your family safe. From swimming programs offering lessons for children, to typical water safety measures, it is essential that you learn more to stay safe this summer.


Those at the greatest risk of drowning are young children ranging in age from 1 to 4 as well as men from 15 to 44. Because of this, it is recommended that young children enroll in swimming classes. Drowning is actually a leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4 in Canada. By enrolling your small child in swim lessons, they can learn how to be safe in the water, from floating to actually swimming.

Short Time Frame and Shallow Water

It only takes seconds for a small child to disappear and shallow water can cause drowning quickly. Children can drown in just centimeters of water if it covers their mouth and nose. Typical drowning occurrences take place in the bathtub, swimming pools, even toddler pools and at the beach. Children should be watched at all times to prevent them from wandering off and ending up in the water, even shallow water.

Avoiding Alcohol Consumption

When it comes to adult water-related fatalities, alcohol consumption plays a big factor. Adults seem to take more risks around the water when drinking alcohol which can include operating a boat or other pleasure crafts. Drinking alcohol can also play a role in accidents involving children as the parent may not be paying full attention to the child when in or around the water.

Active Supervision

Active supervision is key in preventing drowning. Adults should always supervise children in or around water, be it a swimming pool, bathtub, water park, beach, etc. Even if a child can swim, they should be watched to ensure they stay safe. Non-swimmers can help increase safety by wearing a life-jacket when in the water.

When it comes to backyard swimming pools, be sure to have barriers in place so small children cannot access the swimming pool unsupervised. Toddler pools should be emptied after use to avoid future accidents. When it comes to bathing time, adults should  supervise the child. Children should not be left unattended or in the hands of another child. Never become distracted as it only takes seconds for an accident to occur.

At Zodiac Swim School, we offer safety training courses and swim lessons to prepare everyone for the water. Our courses are open to children and adults of all ages and can help them learn to swim and teach them water safety. Contact our office today to learn more about the classes we provide and how to register.

Do you want to become a Lifeguard? Get started with the Bronze Medallion Course

Becoming a lifeguard is a good choice for teens who enjoy swimming and want to become involved in a leadership role within the community. As a parent, you can encourage your child to become a lifeguard by enrolling them in swimming programs at a young age, then focusing on lifesaving levels as they get older. With quality programs available, your child will have the ability to learn how to swim effectively, then move on to more advanced swimming and the ability to save lives.

Bronze Medallion

One level of training via the Lifesaving Society Program available at Zodiac Swim School is the Bronze Medallion. This course provides an understanding of lifesaving principles when it comes to water rescue. Judgement, knowledge, fitness and skill are the four components involved in this educational program. As a rescuer, your teen will learn the proper technique for tows and carries of an individual from the water as well as defense methods and releases when involved in a dangerous rescue. Sometimes the victim is conscious and defensive or unconscious, so the rescuer has to learn the many scenarios involved in lifesaving water rescue techniques. Endurance and stroke efficiency are also elements that are worked on during classes.

Emergency First Aid CPR B

This class also includes first aid courses so the student has a general knowledge of first aid needs including CPR. The goal is to teach the student how to handle an emergency situation without any confusion or panic. Common injuries are covered along with providing core skills to reduce shock when administering care to another individual. Teens will also learn how to recognize a cardiovascular emergency and how to respond appropriately.

Students are taught how to respond with first aid care for infants, children and adults, which is helpful for any emergency situation. During this class, personal protective equipment is required and used during the evaluation of each program. This includes a CPR mask as well as gloves.

These classes are open to teens 13 years of age or older. A 12 year old can take this certification class if they have completed the Bronze Star program, a prerequisite of the Bronze Medallion training, though not required for older students.

Overall, such certifications will help your child stay safe in the water, but also give them the ability to help others. Teens with such training can go on to take further lifesaving programs and eventually go on to work in lifeguard positions at Zodiac Swim School summer programs or other areas. Training is also considered a leadership skill and works well to boost self-esteem as well as surround your child with others who have common goals.

At Zodiac Swim School, we offer several certification programs to help your child learn lifeguarding as well as first aid skills. Depending on the age and skill level of your teen, you can see your child navigate through the various programs and become a lifeguard for our summer programs or in another capacity. Learn more about our programs today so you can enroll your child in first aid and lifesaving society certification classes.

Starting your Toddler with swim lessons is beneficial for so many reasons

From the infant stage, children have the ability to learn quickly. As parents, we want to provide our children with as much education as possible so our kids can thrive as adults. With private swimming lessons, small children have the ability to become accustomed to the water, learning how to stay safe from a very young age. Toronto swim school options are open to children from infant to toddler and beyond, allowing you to introduce your child to swimming lessons early on. You may be surprised to find just how your toddler can benefit from swim lessons at this early age.

During the younger age classes, parents join in so that the child feels comfortable in the water. Your youngster will be introduced to the aquatic environment and begin to explore the water, learning more about water safety. With individual classes, your toddler will be able to develop swim skills at their own pace and the instructor will know when to introduce new skills.

During class time, kids will also be grouped with others their own age which can help to learn the movements and skills being taught. Children often learn best by watching others. With a tot swim class, play and songs are used to teach particular swim skills. Interactive circle time makes swimming fun and the young child learns basic skills of swimming which come in handy for water safety. You will feel more at ease when your toddler is in the water once they have started to learn basic swimming skills.

Toddlers will learn various ways to move in the water along with hand-eye coordination. Songs such as the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ are incorporated into the skills taught in order for kids to learn quickly and have fun at the same time. Breath control, floats, jumps, roll-overs and more are just a short list of what is learned during toddler swim class.

Because your child has taken classes at an early age, they can continue with classes as they get older. Skills can be enhanced and the child can use swimming as a sport to enjoy or simply be even safer in the water. You can rest easy on vacation or simple summer outings as you know that your child can handle themselves in the water. A parent’s greatest fear is that something will happen to their child. By giving your child the gift of swimming lessons, you can rest easy knowing they are safe while in the water.

At Zodiac Swim School, we offer several programs to help your toddler learn how to swim. We have group classes that focus on basic skill learning or offer our Tadpole program where you child can receive one on one personal training. Choose the option that will work best for your child so that they can begin on the path to learning more about water safety. You will feel better about your child being in and around water as they will have the skills needed to be safe in an aquatic environment.

Swim Lessons for Kids: 5 Key Benefits that May Surprise You

Enrolling your children in summer day camp means they will have access to quality programming, including swimming. Some day camps offer a swimming lessons for kids through their swim school, which is a great way to see your child become more familiar with the water and remain safe when swimming during the summer months. Swim lessons offers many benefits, not just swim safety but other pros as well. Learn more about the key benefits below.

Making Friends

When your child enrolls in swimming lessons, they will be placed with children their own age and ability. Even if your child is shy, the pool seems to get kids breaking out of their shell. Your child will have the opportunity to make new friends which can lead to better self-confidence as well as a happier child.

Learn Leadership Skills

By taking swimming lessons, your child may realize they have a knack for swimming. Over time, your child may show interest in pursuing leadership avenues within swimming. Once they reach the preteen stage, children can become certified in CPR as well as lifeguarding. This can lead to even greater water safety training as well as the ability to hold an employment position within summer day camps or other facilities.

Continued Enrollment

When you have kids, it is important to stay on schedule. By pre-registering for swimming classes each year, your child will be able to continue to learn new skills in water safety while staying on the same schedule. At Zodiac Swim School, registration can take place every season, with parents having the ability to register for the entire year. The benefit of this is that your schedule stays the same and children who attend Zodiac Day Camp enjoy a seamless transition with their lesson into the Summer which can be very helpful when you have multiple children in the household.

Improved Health

For your child to stay in shape and healthy, they need to be active. With today’s society focused on electronics and technology, it can be difficult to keep kids moving and on the go. With swimming lessons, your child is exercising but also having fun. To them, its play time rather than exercise. By having your child attend regular classes, you are providing them with an outlet to exercise which helps promote improved health.


Another key benefit to swimming lessons is the happiness of your child. There are so many ways that your child can be happy when taking lessons. From making new friends to learning a new skill, you will begin to see your child’s face light up when they talk about swimming lessons. Help your child be happy and find joy in the water by signing up for swimming lessons today!

At Zodiac Swim School and Zodiac Day Camp, we offer quality swimming lessons so your child can have fun and be safe in the water. By contacting our office, you can learn about our swimming lesson programs and find an option for your child based on age and skill level.

It’s Not Too Late to Learn How to Swim

For most people, learning how to swim is something you do as a child. With children’s swimming lessons, kids can learn at an early age how to stay safe in the water. Children who do not learn how to swim end up becoming adults who may have a fear of the water or just don’t know how to handle themselves in water situations. It is important to learn how to swim, even as an adult. It’s never too late to learn how to swim, even in your senior years. Learn the benefits of learning how to swim below, no matter your age!


First and foremost, learning to swim means you know how to be safe in and around the water. For most adults, when you do not know how to swim, you stick to the shallow end of the pool or don’t go in the water at all. But what if a child is in danger? Or another adult is in need of assistance in the deep end? If you can’t swim you’re unable to help. You will also be limited as to what you can do on vacation, such as swimming in the ocean or lakes. Taking swimming lessons in Toronto can help you learn the safety skills needed to enjoy yourself in the water but also stay safe.


As we age, it can be become increasingly difficult to exercise. From walking to running, any activity you try may put strain on your body. With swimming, you have the ability to exercise in the water. By enrolling in adult swimming lessons, you can learn how to swim and then participate in pool exercises,that are much easier on the body, and particularly good for seniors.

Rehabilitation for Injury

After surgery or an injury, often rehabilitation is needed. Swimming is an optimal form of treatment. When you do not know how to swim, you may not feel comfortable with water rehabilitation. By learning how to swim, you open up doors for rehab that will put less stress on the injured portion of your body as well as help you heal.

Meeting New People

As an adult, it can be hard to make new friends. By taking swimming lessons, you are associating yourself with others who are in a similar situation. Make new friends, learn how to swim and have fun all at the same time. After learning to swim, you and your new friends can meet up from time to time to brush up on skills or just to chat.

Overall, it is important to learn how to swim, even as an adult. At Zodiac Swim School, we offer swimming programs for all ages, including adults! Contact our office today to find out how you can enroll and learn how to swim.

Why you should use a reusable water diaper over a disposable

When enrolling young children in swim school, be ready for an exciting adventure! Your toddler will love being in the water and learning how to swim. The bonus for you is that your child has a good time and makes friends while learning how to be safe in the water. After enrolling in class, you may need to purchase items such as water diapers for your little ones who are not yet potty trained. A small child that is not potty trained will need to wear such diapers to keep the swimming pool clean. There are two types to choose from, the reusable water diaper and the disposable. In general, reusable water diapers are recommended for a number of reasons, of which we will list below.

No Saggy Bum

To begin, your child will not have a saggy bum. The material used in the reusable diapers are designed to fit closely to the skin, they retain any mess your child makes by not soaking in additional water that causes regular diapers to become heavy and loose. With a disposable swim diaper, even though they are less absorbent than regular diapers, they still soak in water causing them to loosen over the course of the lesson.

Environmentally Friendly

Reusable water diapers are an environmentally friendly option for providing your toddler with a swim diaper. With disposables, you will have to throw the diaper away once it has been used. With reusable, you can wash the diaper and dry, reusing it again and again. This helps you to save money as well as make a lesser impact on the environment with unneeded waste.

Better for the Skin

Disposable water diapers are made from materials that can affect the skin of sensitive children. reusable water diapers as they are made from quality materials that are more closely aligned with regular bathing suit materials that will not bother the skin, causing a rash or irritation.

Easy to Pack

With disposable diapers, you will need to bring plenty when you are attending swim lessons or going on vacation. The disposable diapers cannot be reused, you will need to be sure you have enough. This means more to pack when going on vacation or when you are attending swim classes. When using reusable swim diapers, you  only need one for swim class and maybe two for vacation. Having an extra means you have a quick option when a mess is made or if you need to dry the other diaper. Overall, you have more leeway when it comes to travel or attending classes when you use reusable diapers.

At Zodiac Swim School, we have seen the many benefits of reusable water diapers. We sell a variety of plain and patterned adjustable swim diapers.We provide a convenient way for you to purchase a reusable swim diaper for your child via our online store and pool locations.

Contact our office today to find out more about the reusable water diapers we offer or come by and purchase some for your child’s next swimming adventure.

5 Cool Spring / Summer Ideas for Teenagers in Toronto

When spring and summer arrive, it can be easy for teens to have extra time on their hands. Once school ends, the routine of the day is gone. You want your teen to be busy and have fun things to enjoy during the summer months. Swim school and Day Camps in Toronto offer great ways to keep your teenager busy when school is not in session. Keeping your child busy helps them stay active and spend their time wisely. Below are a few ideas to keep your teen busy in the Toronto area.

Babysitting Courses

For a fun and beneficial option for your teen, consider babysitting courses. Your teen will be able to learn how to be responsible for a baby as well as small children. Teens learn how to handle an emergency situation as well as provide standard care such as a meal or diaper change. Your teen can then use the skills learned to start babysitting and earning money during the summer months.

Bronze Star Qualifications

Pre-teens as well as teens have the option to train for Bronze Star qualifications in order to earn the training standard to begin the process for lifeguarding. Teens can build on their swimming skills, learning problem-solving skills as well as how to take charge during an emergency. A component of the testing phase of this program includes a 400-meter timed swim. After this course, kids can move on to Bronze Med and EFA-CPR B and more learning for what is needed to become a lifeguard.

Lifesaving Skills & Drills

Teens who are interested in leadership courses and have already passed the Bronze Star or are working on the Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross or National Lifeguard can qualify to take this class. Your teen can learn safety, surveillance and scanning in the water along with aquatic rescue, CPR, emergency response and risk management.

National Lifeguard Training

The professional lifeguard standard in Canada, available in Toronto, is the Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard certification. The updated version of this curriculum is important to being a competent lifeguard including knowledge, fitness and judgment calls. Included in this training program are object recovery training, underwater swim, sprint challenge, endurance challenge and more.

Standard Summer Camps

In Toronto, there are also standard summer camp options where your teen can make new friends and enjoy quality activities such as swimming and sports. If your child likes to stay active and had an interest in a particular activity such as swimming, soccer or arts & crafts, seek out camps that specialize in these areas. You will find that your teen is able to stay busy and enjoy learning new skills or taking part in new activities.

At Zodiac Swim School and Zodiac Day Camp, we offer programs for pre-teens as well as teens with a variety of options including lifeguard training, CPR courses and more. Contact our office today to find out more about what we can offer your teen in their age range and sign up for the next round of classes.


The many reasons taking Lifesaving Swim Courses are so beneficial

In Canada, lifesaving swim courses can be taken in order to learn how to be a lifeguard or simply to earn certification to be safe and fit in the water. There are many reasons one would take lifesaving swim courses, with preteens having the ability to learn leadership skills, water safety and have the potential for employment. With Toronto swimming lessons, kids can train via swim courses, learning vital skills along the way. There are several certification options that can lead to quality knowledge used in the water as well as in everyday life.

Water Safety

The top benefit to lifesaving swim courses is water safety. Your preteen or teenager will be able to learn lifesaving principles of water rescue. Training will include learning how to tow and carry an individual, defense methods and how to manage a more challenging rescue that can include a conscious or unconscious victim.

The first course in this process is Bronze Medallion & Emergency First Aid-CPR with B. This course also teaches general knowledge of first aid. This training is beneficial for your teen in everyday scenarios as they learn how to deal with emergency situations without panicking or confusion. On top of learning the safety measures, your child will also learn endurance and stroke efficiency for swimming which is a great way to exercise and stay fit.

With this class, children will need to be 13 years of age or older or be 12 and have completed the Bronze Star training.

Leadership Development

Once your child completes the first level of training, they can move on to the next level which is Bronze Cross & Standard First Aid-CPR with C. As your child continues with training, they will begin to develop strong leadership skills. The skills your child will learn can carry over into their school life as well as employment in their adult years. Children learn how to give direction and manage multiple people including victims and bystanders  which is a strong confidence builder that is helpful in the future as an adult.

With this course, students will be learning the next level of training for the lifesaving chain. This puts your child one step closer to being certified as an instructor and/or lifeguard. The Bronze Cross class will build upon the training of the Bronze Medallion class. More advanced and complex lifesaving skills are taught in this program as well as additional First Aid training.

These are just a few of the class options for lifesaving  courses which opens up other opportunities to being an assistant instructor, instructor, and lifeguard.

At Zodiac Swim School, we offer training options for those who wish to learn First Aid as well as lifesaving swim techniques. Contact our office today to see if your child qualifies and begin them on the path to higher learning in the subject of swim and water safety.

Swimming Safety Tips You Should Remind your Child

Parents enroll their children in swimming classes in order for the child to learn the basics when it comes to water safety. Children are taught basic swimming movements and water safety during swimming lessons in Toronto. However, it’s also recommended that parents provide constant tips so their child remembers how to stay safe in the water. Below are a few swimming safety tips to share with your child.

No Running

Every swimming pool has rules and regulations that are the same no matter where you go. One such rule is no running. Always remind your child never to run when going to the pool, for fun or lessons. Children can easily slip and fall, hitting their head and getting hurt or worse, falling into the water unexpectedly. Always remind your child to walk when in or around water.

Avoid Horseplay

When enjoying the water, kids want to have fun. Remind your child that while they can have fun with their friends in the water, they should avoid any horseplay (pushing into or underwater, wrestling in the water etc). Your child or their friends can easily become hurt and a dangerous situation can ensue when in the water. Remind kids not to horseplay so that everyone remains safe.

Avoid Exhaustion

It is also important to remind your child to avoid exhaustion. If they become tired, it is best to stay in the shallow end of the pool where they can touch. If the child becomes too tired, they can be in danger in the deep end and have difficulty making it to the side. Remind your child to take a break and avoid the deep water if they feel they are too tired to swim.

Talk to Small Children

If you have small children who have taken part in swimming lessons, they will be safer in the water. However, you must still remind the child that they must not swim without an adult present. Remind your child of the dangers of the water and that they are not allowed to go swimming unless you or another adult are on-site to watch while they swim. Let them know your rules so they will know how to act when swimming during lessons or for fun.

Safety Tip for Parents

While the tips above are great for parents to share with their children, it is also important that parents heed advice as well. Parents should be trained in CPR and First Aid so if an accident were to occur, they would be able to provide assistance. Accidents occur all the time in and around the swimming pool. Being prepared means you can help your child or someone else’s if an accident takes place.

At Zodiac Swim School, we want your child to be prepared with proper water safety and swimming techniques. We offer a variety of classes for kids of all ages. Sign your child up today so they can learn how to become the best swimmer they can be.