Basic Swimming Rescue Skills For Your Child

Pensacola Sailors learn rescue swimming skills

A Rescue Swimmer School candidate performs a body sweep to check for entanglements or injury in the pool at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

One of the most important life skills to learn is swimming. Drowning is ranked the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. This tragic ending can be prevented with the proper water safety instruction and skills, and it should be taught at a young age.

There are bodies of water all over the world such as  lakes, seas, rivers, oceans, dams and pools. Drowning comprises of about 10% of unintentional injuries per day in the United States, many of which lead to death. About 73% of people who drowned in 2012 alone were children aged 14 and under.  The good thing is that many of these accidental drowning can be prevented by following safety regulations, and also by being equipped with the necessary rescue skills. With this in mind, you would agree with me if I argued that it is vital for your child to learn some of the basic swimming rescue skills. Due to this fact, Toronto swimming lessons are tailored to equip kids with safety swimming skills.

By making sure that your child learns the basics of swimming reduces his or her chances of drowning. In many swimming programs, the first lesson involves teaching the kids some of the basics of swimming. This includes certain styles to prevent drowning such as treading water, doggie paddle, and crawl stroke. This will improve your child’s confidence when in the water which is very important. But, it should be noted that even the best swimmers can drown, therefore being overconfident is not an option.

Kids especially those who swim in beaches should be taught how to spot and evade strong currents. If possible they should avoid swimming completely when there are huge swells in the sea. The ‘rip currents’ are very fast and pose a lot of danger to the swimmers, especially to those who are beginners. There are certain signs that can tell you that you will be in for very strong currents in the next few minutes. The water around changes its color, the waves change patterns from time to time, and there occurs steady movement of debris in the sea. Once you spot these changes in the beach, you should consider getting out of the sea immediately. Fortunately, in some Toronto swimming lessons the kids are taught how to handle themselves when they go to their swimming programs.

If by bad luck you find yourself in strong currents, the first thing is to stay calm. Many people drown because they panic. Once you are calm, then think quickly of what to do next. If there are people around call for help. In the unfortunate event you find yourself alone, don’t fight with the currents. Make a 90 degree turn and move parallel to sea shore. Rip currents are majorly active in narrow channels therefore by swimming in a parallel direction, it gives you a better chance of landing where the waters are a bit calmer.

If you realize you are losing control of yourself when swimming the best thing is to let yourself float on water instead of fighting to stay on cause. In Toronto swimming lessons, treading water is an important technique taught to kids as a safety mechanism to prevent drowning. Fighting to stay above the water only depletes your energy thus decreasing your chances of survival. Simply turn upright and try sweeping water with your arms in order to stabilize yourself, then easily do the kicking motion with your legs to stay afloat, and then you can call for help.

Finally, kids should avoid the use of drugs at all cost. The use of drugs only impairs your judgment. You might think you are on the shallow end when actually you are on the deep end of the pool. Also, drug abuse gives an individual false confidence which can lead to accidental drowning.

Zodiac summer camp is one of the best summer camps in the area. It offers first class swimming programs along other amazing programs such as adventure sports, fashion design, robotics and jewelry art for kids. For more info visit their website www.zodiackids.ca

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Benefits of Trampoline Sports for Kids

trampoline.jpg

Children of any age typically enjoy using the trampoline for recreational purposes. While trampolines are usually associated with a casual day outside on a nice Sunday afternoon, others also utilize this device for improving their sports performance.

The trampoline itself is a sports device initially used for performances. Athletes and acrobats train regularly using trampolines, and they develop the necessary strength and muscle memory through constant practice. With trampoline use, the child can experience better fitness and body awareness, along with good cardiovascular health and higher spirits.

Trampoline sports in day camps are usually good options for a child to try out when they need some kind of physical activity. Better fitness also means that they will be able to reduce their chances for health risks associated with obesity and being overweight. Children with access to exercise equipment will be able to enjoy better lifestyles without having to worry about health problems caused by lack of movement.

Aside from weight loss, there are more benefits that trampoline use can provide for the child. A trampoline utilizes the entire body for movement, and this means that overall body strength is improved when a person is using the device. With a trampoline, you can strengthen your core muscles better without adding unnecessary stress on other joints and bones on your body. Using a trampoline for exercise is also gentler on thigh, core and leg muscles, as they don’t need to exert as much effort as when they are carrying your weight. This means that there are less chances for bone diseases and muscle injuries.

Jumping on the trampoline also requires a certain amount of strength, agility, balance, and posture. Continually using the trampoline for long periods of time would lead the child to develop better abilities in these departments, and they will be able to enjoy the benefits of having better posture and agility in everyday life. The physical exertion needed also requires for a person to breathe properly, so they learn to exercise their lungs and have better respiratory functions by playing with the trampoline.

It is also considered as a good cardiovascular workout by many fitness professionals and athletes. Studies have shown that jumping on the trampoline provides better workout and cardio results than running, jumping and most sports on foot. This kind of exercise has also shown to provide the child with a better mood and a nicer disposition, since they have used energy on a fun activity.

Trampolines have been used to help patients recovering from illnesses and injuries. Since childhood is a delicate stage, playing with the trampoline can assist those with depressive tendencies or going through any emotional difficulties. The trampoline requires a person’s full focus without them realizing that they have used up their energy. For overactive kids, it is a good distraction and a way to burn off some energy while providing a fun experience.
Being airborne is a great feeling and jumping is already considered a good exercise on its own. When a child is outdoors at day camps with their trampoline sessions, they will also get some much-needed vitamin D.

 

5 Tips to Show Children Swimming is Fun

swimming kids

Kids will enjoy swimming more if you build their confidence and help them overcome any fear of water that they may have. It isn’t always easy to teach a child that water is fun especially when it is their first experience but the best place to start is finding a suitable swimming program that will incorporate as many fun activities as possible. As you read on, you will find insights on fun activities to incorporate into your swimming program to allow little ones to enjoy their time in the water.

Here are 5 simple tips to help introduce your child to Swimming.

  1. Safety measures
  • Teach children about safety measures in their early stages of swimming. This will build their confidence and security.
  • Make sure that your child understands that they should always ask permission before going to swim if young always accompanied by an adult.
  • Be sure they wear lifejackets or safety devices in the water at all times.
  • Teach them to paddle both feet while holding onto the walls of the pool. This will help them if they find themselves deep in the water to prevent drowning.
  1. Easy games

Simple games will make swimming more fun for kids. Use water  toys to play different games with them such as:

  • Chase and play

Encourages kids to move about in the water. The game involves a child moving in the water and tagging another who then moves about to tag another in the proximity.

 

  • Talk to the fish

Involves blowing water bubbles and listening to pretend fish responses. This helps the children to control their breathing which is an essential step to swimming independently. Encourage your child to blow bubbles while his/her face is submerged in the water. When you do so yourself, you’ll need to come out of the water smiling as you don’t want to scare the kid.

  • A ride

While holding your child by their armpits and walking backwards in the water shout “motorboat go fast…go fast…slow…” This will develop their kicking strength in the water.

  1. Test the water
  • An effective and easy way to teach your child security in the water is by swimming with them. Actually you should be the first one to get into the water so that they can follow. When you are with them, you induce a sense of belonging and security and allowing them to swim freely and have fun.
  1. Splashing
  • Splashing is enjoyable for beginners especially little ones who just can’t help but spray everyone around them with water.  This is actually part of the learning experience by teaching them how to kick and move in the water.
  • You can also help by showing them how to float with his/her stomach on the pool water and head on your shoulder. In this position they can begin kicking and splashing giving them better balance in the water. In Toronto, swimming lessons for kids integrate these balancing and kicking aspects with safety measures.
  1. Taking a jump
  • First of all this should be done in the shallow end of the pool. It’s so important for your child to feel safe and trust that the teacher or parent will catch them. When they jump into the water and begin to kick it allows the process of staying above water and strengthening those swimming muscles.

Zodiac swim school in Toronto is one of the largest private swim schools in Canada.  It offers top-notch swimming lessons that will help develop aquatic skills and self- confidence to your children.   

 

The Dangers Of Swimming Everyone Should be Aware Of

danger of swimming

Summer is just around the corner and many folks–especially kids–are itching to get out of the house or the classroom to go swimming. Many parents are thinking about the best swimming programs for kids. While swimming is a fun activity that improves wellness and physical fitness, there are some dangers that parents should be aware of. Signing up for swimming programs will help to lessen the danger for children as they how to properly swim and respect the water. Please think closely about the following:

Dry drowning

We often think that drowning occurs when someone is physically in the water. Dramatic movies and TV shows add to that assumption. However, there is an equally treacherous and much less well-known situation called “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning.” It can occur a significant amount of time after a person has left the pool or the beach. A swimmer usually breathes water into his or her lungs. As the fluid builds up, it can cause respiratory problems. The most common symptom is difficulty breathing. While this condition often clears up on its own, it can cause death if untreated.

Dry drowning can happen to anyone, but it commonly occurs in children because of their lack of experience in the water. Enrolling children in swimming programs is one way to reduce the chance of this happening. In addition, keeping an eye on kids in the bathtub and other shallow pools of water is a good idea as well.

Pool Hazards

While swimming programs for kids may teach children the basics of maneuvering around a pool with skill, not all focus on the hazards that may be found in and around the pool itself. Slippery floors and ladders could cause falls resulting in head injuries. It’s important that everyone knows that while pools are a fun place to hang out, it is important to be cautious for the sake of the other swimmers. Walking and entering the pool slowly can go a long way to improve safety.

Another particularly dangerous hazard is the pool drain. The suction caused by the device can be so strong that a person can be pulled under the water and unable to return to the surface. This is much more common in children than in adults. Lifeguards at public pools are usually trained to recognize this event, but it’s still important to keep an eye on your child. If you have a pool at home, make sure that children cannot access it unsupervised.

Disease Outbreaks

There is a commonly held, but incorrect belief that “chlorine kills everything.” As a result, pools are sometimes seen as the cleanest place around. Unfortunately, chlorine cannot kill off every single pathogen that ends up in the water, and the pool’s filtration system may not get rid of it quickly enough.

It’s possible to be infected by E. coli by spending time in pools that are not cleaned as much as they should. To prevent you are anyone from your family getting sick in a pool:

  • Avoid drinking pool water
  • Shower before and after swimming
  • Do not urinate in a pool, and report anyone who does to a lifeguard

In addition, consider attending or enrolling your children in swimming programs at pools that supplement chlorine with other disinfectants.

Overexertion

When kids are having fun, they’re reluctant to admit that they’re tired. Sometimes swimming seems less physically demanding than running or cycling, but it is a sport and sometimes you need to take a break. Swimmers who are too tired can become sloppy and lose their form. This puts them at risk for drowning. Swimmers should always have someone else watching them who can recommend when it’s time to take a break.

Despite the warnings above, swimming is a safe and fun activity. Just keep these points in mind and have a great summer!

For more information on swimming lessons for children, contact Zodiac Kids. Options are offered for children of all ages to become better swimmers.

Different Swimming Strokes And Their Benefits

swimming strokes

Swimming is a technique which allows anyone to stay afloat on water or to glide through using the limbs. The density of human body is relatively the same as water density, that is, 0.98. Hence, the body can support its own weight in water during swimming.

While you can manage to move around by simply thrashing your hands and feet in water for a while, you will soon realize that it not only takes a lot of effort to move a small distance and it makes you tired. Worse, it even makes your muscles ache badly once you are out of the water.

In order to be able to swim properly, you ought to learn different swimming strokes and their benefits. Toronto swimming lessons provides full range of swimming classes. It is never too late to take up swimming lessons, but it is always advisable to start at an early age. You will find many classes that help learn and even have fun. Red Cross Swim Kids is one such program that provides swimming lessons to kids of 5 years or more.

Breaststroke

Breaststroke is a basic swimming stroke technique. This will probably be the first technique taught if you register for Toronto Swimming Lessons or Red Cross Swim Kids classes, that is, if you are a beginner. In this technique, the swimmer is face down in water on his or her chest. This looks a lot similar to a frog swimming which requires the arms and legs to move inwards and then outwards. This is considered to be the easiest of all strokes as the head stays above water most part of the time and can be very comfortable in slow speed. However, if you need to gain speed, then this stroke requires a lot of endurance.

Freestyle

Freestyle too is face down and flat on your stomach, however the feet need to be straight and flutter to keep your body afloat. The arms on the other hand are used alternatively where you keep them straight in front of you above the water and rotate it till your hips and back. This technique is the fastest and the most efficient of all strokes. You can cover long distances using this stroke. However, since the head is submerged in water and is required to rotate sideways to be able to breath, this technique requires some practice to master it. Toronto Swimming lessons provide a stroke improvement program that is just for specialized aquatic programmers.

Butterfly

This stroke is considered to be the most difficult of all strokes and requires good strength and stamina. Even in this stroke you are required to rotate your arms, but they need to move in sync together. In this stroke, your arms do majority of work and pull your body forward while your legs move in a wave like motion. If you are looking for an intense workout, this swimming technique can prove to be the best exercise. It helps in speeding up your metabolism, and burns fat at a faster rate than any other strokes.

Backstroke

As the name suggests, this stroke, unlike any other, requires you to lie face up in water and swim on your back. The arms are rotated similar to freestyle in alternate motion and the legs too move alternatively in a motion called flutter kick. You can opt for this stroke when you want to relax after an intense regime. This stroke certainly strengthens your back and proves to be useful for those you face backache issues.

No matter which swimming technique you select, keep in mind that it always proves to be beneficial to include it in your fitness regime – be it for relaxation or intense workout.

It is never too late! Are you afraid to get into water or dealing with body pains that forbids you to exercise? Or even if you want to send your children to learn and have fun at the same time. Zodiac Kids can provide a number of training techniques for all ages when it comes to swimming programs.

The Social Impact of a Child’s Addiction to Gadgets

 

gadgets

Within the last decade, technology has become a primary part of everyone’s life. Not only in the communication sphere, but the rapid digital revolution has completely changed the educational and learning scenario.

However, one cannot deny the adverse impact of technology especially with our young people. Even children from 2-5 years of age are getting exposure to digital gadgets. Kids are spending vast amounts of time playing around video-games, watching TV and surfing devices. Texting, chatting and spending times in social media have taken up their recreational times. Children are alarmingly withdrawing from outdoor games and physical activities as they prefer to spend that time around a computer. The decline of social interaction is making them incapable of face-to-face communication, and also creates an emotional distance with friends and parents.

Addiction towards gadgets is giving rise to problems like sleeplessness, lack of concentration, anxiety and mood disorders. Continuous usage of gadgets and internet are snatching away the thinking capacity of a child. The inter-connectivity between childhood and imagination is a thing of the past now.

Nowadays, every dot of information is available in the internet and kids are left with little to imagine and fantasize. Continuous access to gadgets is eroding a child’s normal quest and curiosity and they are no longer seeking an elderly person’s guidance and knowledge. It can also be said that gadgets are eroding the inter-personal skills of a child and often they are irritated with the presence of another person during their time of surfing the gadgets. Another disadvantage is that digital gadgets are deterring the kids to indulge into their creative and artistic pursuits.

Though it is widely admitted fact that technical devices are meant for keeping closer connectivity among people, irrespective of geographical barriers, in reality it often brings about apathy among people and the worst sufferer are the kids.

One of the worst impact, the kids are facing as a result of technology addiction is Cyber bullying. Harassment, humiliation, threats have entered into the virtual world also. Infact sending degrading messages, pictures and videos have become simple, quick and immediate by means of the 24*7 online access.

The emotional and physical consequences of bullying on children are horrific; their self confidence and self esteem get lowered down. Many kids end up emotionally and psychologically distressed and some kids are even turning to fatal tendencies. Depression, anger, fears, shame are just a few of the many outcomes of cyber bullying and experiencing bullying in childhood proves to be a huge evil in course of a child’s normal growth potentiality.  

Therefore, it is needless to say that unregulated use of technology and gadgets by children can really take a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Parents must be aware of these problems and should try to keep their children away from the gadgets during their play days as much as possible. Taking them to summer day camps or a swimming school for kids will help divert their attention away from gadgets and the internet, enhance their skills, and make them more productive and responsible individuals.

In day camps, children will learn so many things while having fun at the same time. In a swimming school for kids, they will not only have fun but they will also acquire swimming skills that will help boost their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Are Swimming Lessons the Way to Go?

Swimming

Swimming is an important life skill that everyone should have an opportunity to learn. Not only it is great for our health but it could one day save a life too. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise as it works every muscle group in the body without causing stress on bones and joints. There are so many benefits of learning to swim as it is not only enjoyable but one of the best recreational activities.

Here are some other amazing benefits of swimming lessons:

Swimming lessons provide the best platform for learning and exercise. A swimming workout is a great total body workout as it strengthens everything from the core to the legs and to the arms. Swimming is also a fantastic cardiovascular alternative to running. Basically, muscles have to work harder to perform aerobic activity with the water resistance making them more flexible, stronger and increase in length.

Swimming lessons are the best choice for an individual who wants to excel in swimming. These swimming classes instill a competitive streak in learners as they strive to achieve more and compete amongst their peers. This proves to be highly effective and make children more competitive in the academic environment.

Swimming lessons are generally held in groups of similar age and ability. Therefore, learners get a chance to mix with each other and it also creates a platform for other social skills. In each swimming lesson, the overall safety of the learner is of prime importance. It also help build up health and endurance as they learn to swim long distances, Moreover, kids can learn lifesaving skills like swimming with clothes on and swimming rescue and survival.

In swimming lessons, the swim coach always tries to maintain the students comfort level with them. When teaching one-on-one lessons, they try and customize the instruction keeping in mind the undisturbed focus of the learner. 

Swimming lessons also provide you with cleanliness and proper hygiene in the swimming pool.  It is recommended that you should opt for private swim lessons instead of learning from relatives or peers as they provide a better environment, safety, and involvement in other recreational activities.

When it comes to Toronto swimming lessons, one of the best places to go to is Zodiac Day Camp as they offer a variety of swimming programs and even private swimming lessons.

Lifeguarding: A Tough and Rewarding Job

Lifeguarding

The weather is warming up and everyone is preparing for the summer heat. The pools and beaches will be full of people seeking to cool off, which means that pool managers will be out looking to employ Lifeguards. This begs the question why should you as an individual offer to work in a pool or beach as a lifeguard?

Lifeguarding is one of those jobs that involves much risk and therefore has earned its place in the history books. Those who take on this job may not receive much as payment compared to other fields but, they are assured that what they do is respected. They are also well trained and certified to join a group of other celebrated heroes and heroines who offered these services before them. No hard work goes unrewarded and because of their service to helping humanity, the work done by lifeguards never goes unrecognized.

Some of the world’s greatest men and women were lifeguards. For example did you know the 40th US president Reagan Ronald was a lifeguard? Also Hollywood Actors Jack Nicholson and Jake Gyllenhaal, were lifeguards. These great men offered their time and lives to keep others safe.

As a lifeguard, you will learn skills that will help you and others later in life.  Swimming lessons in Toronto, kids are taught first Aid and CPR techniques. How would it feel if you just saved someone from drowning?  Saving lives is the joy of every lifeguard. If you are that person who likes talking to new people or if you are bored at home and are looking for a new challenge why not look into starting a lifeguard course this summer? This just may be the opportunity you are looking for.

Not only is it a rewarding job but you will also burn body calories and have a great workout as you help the youngsters train and swim along with the students. At swimming lessons in Toronto the lifeguards are actively involved in all pool activities such as helping those who don’t know how to swim move to safety areas such as shallow depths and help them train. This movement in water helps strengthen their body muscles and ligaments.

Zodiac Swim School is proud to offer National Lifeguard Society Courses (NLS) at their Swim school where many certified lifeguards have successfully graduated from and we thank them for their dedication and work they do each day to keep others safe.  

Build Confidence at Performing Arts Camp

Are you looking for a program that helps your child become more confident? One of the best ways to build confidence in a child is to enroll him or her in a performing arts camp.

Why performing arts camp?

The performing arts boosts confidence in children because it exposes them to performing and speaking in front of a crowd. At first, shy kids will have a difficult time opening up to complete strangers, let alone perform on stage. But the program goes through stages before a culminating performance.

Kids are taught the basics of acting and mustering the courage to speak and act in front of a crowd. These activities slowly help your child come out of their shell. Performing in front of a crowd does not only teaches them new skills, but helps boost your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. These two life skills are carried over until they reach adulthood; they can use these skills even after school.

Campers enjoy the thrill of preparing for their stage performance where they will audition, rehearse and have a polished final performance that comes with professional staging, sound, light, and costumes. The culminating event will show their hard work at camp.

Creativity is a necessity in whatever field, enrolling your child in arts camp brings out their creative genius. Creativity is not just about singing and acting on stage, it has many aspects.

Choosing a Camp for Your Child

There are several arts camps out there offering creative programs, but how do you find the best one for your child?

Look for a camp that has an experienced staff and offers personalized programs for participants. Staff must be aware of and sensitive to the self-confidence and self-esteem of each child in the program. They must be able to emphasize the importance of each role in the program.

Enroll your child at a camp that provides small group rehearsals and workshops because these work on each child’s weaknesses and improves their strengths in their chosen programs. Smaller groups allow instructors to focus and provide attention to each child under their care.

Zodiac Camp has extensive experience in this arena and maybe the right choice for your child. Visit us today to find out more.

Developing Creative Expression in an Art Camp

Is your child showing signs of artistry? These signs may lead to a bright future in painting, writing, or any field related to the arts. To fully unleash your child’s potential you may want to send them to an arts camp. Zodiac Day Camp offers activities and opportunities for your child to tap into his or her inner artist.

What are the benefits of arts camp?

Everyone is an artist but because of lack of mentoring, the artist inside everyone gets neglected and in some cases never reaches its potential. At art camp, your child’s inner artist can be unleashed. With trained and experienced staff your child will be able to fully harness their full potential in the arts.

Fun Activities

At Zodiac Day Camp, your child will be exposed to all sorts of activities related to art. They can join specialty programs such as Creatures & Creativity, Dance, Performing Arts, Glee Club, Media & Technology and more. These classes help your child discover their true passion. Through these activities your child may also determine whether they are best suited for writing, multimedia arts, dance, theatre, drawing, or painting.

Excellent Mentoring

Mentoring is important to budding artists whether they are writers or painters. At art camp, your child will be mentored by an experienced and trained professional. The mentor provides participants with constructive criticism and different techniques to become a better artist.

Camaraderie

Art camp would be incomplete without the new friends your child may make. Zodiac Day Camp provides children with the same interests an avenue to create long-lasting friendships. Artists at a young age tend to be shy but with the help of arts camp, they can become more confident and learn how to better express their thoughts, ideas and experiences with other like-minded kids.

Top-Notch Facilities & Equipment

Zodiac Kids Day Camp not only provides participants with excellent coaching, but also the best equipment and facilities to hone each artist’s skills.
Summer camps can be fun for anyone. While the more timid and artistic children may think that camp is all about sports and playing outdoors, institutions such as Zodiac Day Camp have redefined what summer day camps can be. It is for all kids with different interests. The various specialty programs available cater those who are into sports, extreme sports, science, arts, acting, media and technology, swimming and more. The specialty programs of Zodiac Day Camp are for kids aged 5.5 to 12.5 years old. These are full day programs.