Swim lessons reduce risk of injury

By: Autumn Matz, Placer Herald Correspondent
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For more photos: Keep kids safe with swim lessons

Water activities are often a source of fun for families. However, people should be aware of the year-round danger that is present when children, ages 1-14, participate in these activities.
According to the Drowning is Preventable in California Web site, more than 1,500 children and teens die annually in the U.S. from drowning incidents.
Because drowning can happen fast, in as little as two minutes after a person’s head goes under water, it is important to take steps to avoid being in a life-threatening situation.
The Rocklin Aquatic Department is trying to decrease the number of injury-related aquatic deaths associated with children by offering fall swim lessons.
“Children are not to be considered drown-proof even though they can swim,” said Sharon Brooks, community service supervisor. “It is important that children learn to tread water, float, propel themselves through the water and get out of the pool. Taking swimming lessons with a certified instructor ensures that the swimmer is being taught necessary skills for his or her age, ability and developmental potential.”
Parents also need to realize the important role that swimming lessons can have in keeping their children safe.
“I am always concerned for my children’s safety. That is part of being a mom,” said Rocklin resident Sylvia Pottier. “I think something like swimming lessons is worth the amount of time and money that you put into it. The pay off could be huge.”
The classes are based on age, with the minimum starting age being 3, as well as skill level.
In the level one class, children ages 3-5 will learn how to float on their front and backs, kick and use arm strokes assisted and unassisted as well as beginning to use glides and whole strokes.
In the level two class, children, ages 5 and up, will progress to coordinating front and back crawl, improve their breathing, strokes and endurance and be introduced to elementary backstroke and treading water.
The level three class, meant for children ages 7 and up, is where students will build confidence in and improve their aquatic skills. Children learn to increase their endurance by having students do 25 yards of familiar stokes. Children will practice butterfly, open turns, feet first dives, breast stroke, side strokes and turning at the wall.
Several issues can arise even for children that are experienced swimmers. Things such as muscle cramps and waves can cause fatal injuries to even the most experienced swimmer. Parents can use the fall swimming lessons to refresh their child’s skills or to expand upon what their child may have learned during the summer swimming lesson sessions.
“Swimming lessons are invaluable because they not only create a safer environment for the participant and those around them, they can also create a foundation for the child’s ability to pursue water sports later,” Pottier said.
For more information about the fall swim lessons offered through the Rocklin Aquatic Department, contact Sharon Brooks at 624-5224, visit your nearest high school pool aquatic center or visit the city Web site at

fall swim lessons
Where: Rocklin High School Aquatic Center
Hours: 7- 7:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday; 7:30 p.m.- 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday
Cost: $52 per student
Info: 625-5224,

Autumn Matz can be reached at