Valley Isle Aquatics is now accepting financing for sessions over $99.00 via PayPal. See details below:
Our apologies for any of you who have opted out of this newsletter and still received it. We are in the process of cleaning up our database, hence there are probably a few email addresses which slipped by. If you would like to stop receiving this newsletter, please send us an email letting us know and if you feel comfortable sharing the reason why, that would be helpful to us. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Swim Fins ~ we are always happy to keep a list of interested folks and when we get enough to make an order, we will let you know.
Ocean & Beach Safety (BOS)
Our Ocean & Beach Safety Day has been a real success and we are thankful to those who have participated. The Nov-Dec session will not have one, due to scheduling challenges during the holiday season.
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Facebook: All participant pictures are posted on our Facebook page, enabling you to download/save your picture right from the page.
Facebook ~ Valley Isle Aquatics
These families have generously allowed us to use their pools for classes during this nightmare with the county. We want to be sure to give a shout out to each of them for their generosity!
The Community Courses' Office has made several changes within their program which affects us. It is critical that you complete their evaluation form before the end of the session.
Please be sure to submit your program evaluation before the end of the session.
Through this office we are able to offer a couple of classes UpCountry at the Pukalani Pool on Saturdays and Sundays. Please see the schedule below.
County permit situation remains negative
Maui County has been more than difficult, unsupportive, and mean-spirited in regards to allowing us to continue offering our individualized approach to learning how to swim. We have tried every avenue and have been slammed down with every attempt. We have been accused of lying; have been told we don't meet the non-profit criteria; have been denied access; and have been told so many different "reasons" why that we actually don't know the real reason behind all this nonsense.
We have offered our services to the County-they are not interested; we have offered to partner with them-they are not interested; we have offered to run a program together-they are not interested; we have offered our expertise and training-they are not interested. USA Swimming, Splash Program encouraged them to partner with us, to no avail. They do not care about the well-being of the community or they would be allowing this program to continue in all districts as we did successfully for four years. Their free lessons do not meet the needs of every community member, they can't, there are not enough lifeguards or times available to do so, hence the reason to allow more than just county guards to teach. In addition, they are allowing several other instructors to teach lessons virtually every day of the week, so why are they targeting us? We have our thoughts and opinions on this matter, but will let you consider the various options... We've been told there are a few "people" spreading lies and rumors about our program-consider the source and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Keep in mind, none of the elected officials, including the mayor, care enough to step up and take action in this matter. The mayor refuses to meet with us, answer any correspondence, or take responsibility for this situation. It's time our elected officials do what's in the best interest of the community, period.
If you have any ideas or thoughts, or would like to help with this situation, please let us know~we need all hands on deck to get this program back on track.
Please continue to write letters, send emails and fax your concerns it to the mayor. The County needs to know they are doing a dis-service to the community. Please send them to Mayor, Council Members, and Parks & Recreation.
Alan Arakawa, Mayor:
We have a sample letter posted on our website for your convenience: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=354779577903148
All we want and have ever wanted to do is teach our community members how to swim, making our community safer, and potentially saving lives.
Nov-Dec 2012 Class Information:
Please see the mini-calendar below for details.
We have many selections to choose from in Kihei, UpCountry, and Central. If none of these match your schedule, let us know and we will see what we can do to accommodate you.
To Register for a class, please go to the Classes tab; find the type of class you are interested in; click on that link; review the information; click on the Registration Form Link ~the times and levels are on the bottom of each Registration Form
We have a Classes @ Glance chart listed below & linked the web page, for your convenience.
Any challenges with registering, just give us a holler and we will walk you through the process.
Private Lessons (POP)
We are available to travel to you to offer our fabulous swimming program, in the comfort of your own pool! We will be happy to teach in your private pool, hotel, condo, or home owners' association pool. Please complete the private lessons (POP) registration form~we will confirm all details with you via Email (or phone).
The Trouble with Water Wings
You may have heard an instructor discourage a parent from using water wings, or arm floaties. There are several important reasons we, and many other swim instructors and water safety organizations feel strongly that water wings, or floaties are not a good choice.
Although inflatable armbands are popular among small children, water wings are not a life-saving device; they will not prevent a child from accidentally going under water and potentially drowning. Remember, water wings can slip off or easily deflate. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of water wings is the possibility of the adult responsible for supervising the swimmers and the swimmer themselves to become lulled into a feeling of safety. Inflatable armbands are patented as toys, not safety equipment. Mistaking them for such can create a potentially fatal situation.
Inflatable armbands teach children an improper vertical position in the water, instead of the correct horizontal swimming posture. As the instructor begins working on back floating, the first step in water-safety training and swim instruction, your child may feel uncomfortable and resist working in the horizontal position. She may also be unused to water splashing across her face or getting into her ears – common problems with a child that is used to the head being high and dry, while rest of the body is in the pool below her. Feeling comfortable with rolling to their back and floating is the single most important aspect of a child’s being safe in an unexpected water situation.
Assisted Floating Gives Kids False Confidence
Young children have not yet mastered the concepts of cause and effect. Toddlers do not associate their "floaties" with water safety. An exuberant toddler who loves the water may take off and jump in without first putting on his safety gear or venture into water when parents or adult are not present. Unless he has self-rescue survival skills or an adult is present at the instant he enters the water, drowning is definite possibility.
Use of Flotation Devices Replaces the Urgency to Learning Critical Skills
Finding a qualified infant and toddler water survival instructor is not difficult, but the lesson process has been seen by many parents as being time consuming, emotional, and somewhat expensive. These factors make flotation devices economical and enable parents to easily justify not getting their child into a qualified water survival program. Unfortunately, it is these very skills that can save a child from a tragic and preventable death.
Drowning Happens Quietly and in Seconds
Parents are under the assumption that, if an accident occurs, there is time to respond. Children who do not know how to float do not naturally rise to the surface and have an opportunity call for help. Children sink to the bottom when they enter the water. There are no screams, no cries for help, just silence on the surface.
Try using a swim noodle in place of wings. The benefit is that the child can better understand that they and the noodle are separate, while children may not always understand that the floaties are the reason for their floating. The noodle also helps to engage the deltoids and scapula in the upper back, muscles and bones that are important in swimming.
Instead of water wings, the Red Cross advocates the use of a life jacket with a "U.S. Coast Guard approved" label for any children who are non-swimmers.
Real Life Story
It started off like so many summer mornings. The kids and I went to our local swimming pool for their daily lessons. Our 2 year old boys were in one group with their instructor, our 4 year old daughter was in the intermediate group and our oldest daughter, age 11, was in the advanced class.
After the lesson, many of the children and parents stayed to swim and socialize for a little while longer. I unpacked our lunches and the kids begrudgingly stopped swimming only long enough to eat. I sat on the edge of the pool with my legs dangling into the water, the hot midday sun beating down on my shoulders. The little kids practiced swimming part way across the pool to their big sister and then they took turns jumping in and swimming to the stairs over and over.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little girl, probably about 2 years old, run and jump into the pool without hesitation. At first I didn't think much of it. After all, she was about the same age as our boys who often jump in on their own and then swim to the side. But then I noticed that she wasn't coming up for air. In fact, she wasn't moving at all. It had only been about 10 seconds but my gut instinct just told me that something was wrong.
Then I realized that she was drowning. I could see her mouth wide open though she didn't make a sound and she was holding perfectly still underwater, upright with her arms out in front of her, not flailing or flopping or kicking or paddling. Majo, grab her! I yelled to our oldest daughter who was in the pool closest to the child. She gave me a slightly confused look, knowing this little girl wasn't one of her own siblings. She's drowning! Pull her out! I yelled again as I jumped in. Within an instant our 11 year old who herself only learned to swim two months ago had the girl in her arms and gently lifted her to the surface. I took her in my arms and carried her out of the water. The little girl had probably been underwater for less than 20 seconds but she was barely conscious.
By that time the lifeguard realized what was going on and ran over to us. The child's mother had noticed that her daughter was missing and she also ran over, terrified and visibly shaken. Oh my goodness, the mother sobbed. She is a great swimmer with her floaties on but we had already taken them off and we were packing up and getting ready to leave.
Thankfully the little girl was fine, though understandably very frightened.
One of the aquatics directors spoke with us and wanted to hear what had happened. When we recounted the story, she told us that it's alarming and frightening how many children who depend on floaties (also known as water wings- those little blow up floatation devices that many parents put on kids' arms) to swim have potentially dangerous incidents in or around water. For example, if a child who is wearing water wings does a cannonball into the pool and the floatation devices slip off, the child can potentially drown if they are unable to swim. Toddlers and young children who wear floatation devices may think that they can swim when they cannot and it gives them a false sense of confidence.
Likewise, many parents believe that floaties are an alternative for direct supervision. Nothing, not even a life jacket, should take the place of directly supervising your child in the water.
After witnessing this near-drowning and after seeing how quickly it can happen, I encourage all parents to enroll their children in swim lessons from a very young age and to always have an adult within an arm's reach of young or inexperienced swimmers. It may be the best money you've ever spent and it could end up saving your child's life.
Here are a few truths about young children, pools and drowning that all parents need to remember:
• If your child can only "swim" with floaties, THEY CAN'T SWIM.
• Children who wear floatation devices but who are not independent swimmers will not know how to react if they fall or jump into water without them.
• Lifeguards are not babysitters. It IS their job to help keep our children safe and to help if trouble arises but this is a parent's job too.
• Drowning can happen in seconds. Many parents are under the false assumption that if an accident occurs that there is time to respond.
• If a child can crawl, they can learn to float unassisted in the water. The earlier that kids learn how to swim, the more comfortable they will be in the water and the less likely they are to die of drowning-related causes.
• Trust your gut instinct. If something doesn't seem or look right, investigate or notify a lifeguard immediately.
• Contrary to popular belief, a person who is drowning is often silent with no arm flailing, kicking, screaming for help or obvious signs of trouble. Especially with young children, all you may hear above the surface is silence. Older children, more experienced swimmers and supervising adults need to know what to look for as potential signs of trouble when it comes to young children in the pool. 8 Quiet Signs of Someone Drowning is very helpful and a must-read for all parents.