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IPAP

Town of Saratoga Learn to Swim Program

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The Infant and Preschool Aquatics Program (IPAP)

 
Dear Parents,
Below is a list of guidelines and good practices to use when working with your IPAP child(ren) in the water.
 
*Temperature.  Infants and small children are much more susceptible to hypothermia than older children, even when it seems fairly warm.  According to the Red Cross Water Safety Manual, the water should be at least 82 degrees F, preferably 86 degrees F.  The air temperature should be at least 3 degrees above water temperature. 
Because we cannot control the temperature of the air or the water, if it should be considerably colder than the reccomended temperatures, we will shorten or cancel IPAP classes on a particular day.  Check the cancellations page if you have any questions about this matter.
 
*Learning and Development.  Children learn best when they are actively engaged and in control of their environment.  Therefore, we will act more as a facilitator than an actual instructor at this level.  We will show you ways that you can hold your child and things that you can do to help them.  You and your child will be spending the majority of your lesson exploring the pool and having fun in the water. We will help you and your child to set goals and work at achieving them, however, your child will progress at their own rate.
 
*Noise and Distractions.  Your child will be more successful if you limit your distractions.  This means, if you have other children with you at the pool you must keep them outside of the fence.  If possible, encourage them not to interupt you during the lesson. If your child is having a hard time focusing on you try and limit the number of toys that he/she has in front of them.  If at any time your child appears to be over-stimulated feel free to take them out of the pool and calm them down before forcing them to participate in the water.
 
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOUR CHILD IS A REFLECTION OF YOU.  IF YOU FEEL APPREHENSIVE ABOUT THE PROGRAM OR WATER, YOUR CHILD WILL TOO.  IF YOU FEEL CALM AND ENJOY BEING IN AND AROUND THE WATER, CHANCES ARE, YOUR CHILD WILL ALSO.
 
*Fearful Children.  If your child is already fearful of the water there are a few things that you can try to minimize their fear.  First, try to anticipate any possible problems.  Second, be aware of the stages of development where children are most likely to have fears, typically 8 months and two years of age.  Be sure to use positive reinforcement and allow your child to play more, experience success and practice the same things repeatedly.  Take it slow, don't expect to much and just have fun.
 
*Infection.  If your child shows any signs of rash, fever or any sympton of infection please do not bring your child to lessons until fully healed.  We need to maintain pool water chemistry and an infectious child can altar it as well as spread infections.  Ear infections are very common.  If your child is prone to ear infections please speak with your doctor before begining lessons. It is also important for us to inform you of a condition called, hyponatremia or "water intoxication."  This is an imbalance of electrolytes in the blood stream. This condition is extremely RARE, however, you should not let young children submerge more than three times in one lesson.
 
*Swimwear.  If your young child is still in diapers, please make sure to buy them swimmies.  These are diaper-like swimwear designed not to swell in the water.  Regular diapers will swell, break and leak their contents into the pool water.  Therefore, we ask that you do not bring your child into the pool without a swimmie diaper or with a regular diaper.   

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