There's much to see here. So, take your time, read the information, and learn about how we conduct our classes. Many of your questions are answered here.
Week 1: Monday - Friday
Week 2: Monday - Wednesday
Please note: Thursday and Friday of Week 2 will be reserved for make-up classes if the entire class misses due to weather conditions. If we need to make up additional time, we may also extend some classes by 10-15 minutes to cover all skills taught at Tadpole Academy.
You may transfer to another class that has openings with a couple weeks notice. Please email us to make this transfer. Classes with a max capacity of 8 must have at least 5 registered participants or they will be combined with another session/time.
Lessons are non-refundable. Period. If you cannot keep your child's spot due to illness, vacation, or any other reason, you are responsible for finding another student(s) to take their place. No exceptions and there are not make-up lessons for individuals. The reason we do this is because if you sign up, you are taking another child's spot for which we only have so many. We are happy to announce your open spot via our Facebook page to help you find another student(s).
Please email us if you have arranged for another student to take the place of you child so that the new student can properly register prior to the class start date.
Refunds or make-up lessons will NOT be given in the case of rainy weather, including rain that makes the pool water cold, in the case of illness, if your child remains upset throughout the lessons, if your child does not begin to swim by the end of lessons, if you are late or miss a lesson due to traffic, or if you have any other situation that causes your child to miss lessons.
The only make-up lessons are those that the whole class has missed due to thunderstorms or an unforeseen pool closure during one of those first eight days, please plan on longer lessons in the days to follow and/or plan to attend a make-up lesson as determined by the instructor. Be assured that our goal is to make every effort to cover all skills taught in our academy with your child.
A text message will be sent out prior to lessons if the lesson will be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. If you don't receive a text, PLEASE PLAN ON COMING TO CLASS.
In the case of quickly forming thunderstorms, sometimes it's a "game time" call and we almost always manage to have at least part of the lesson. Lessons will be cancelled in the event of lightning but lessons WILL take place if it's only raining.
Our main location is at NewSong Church of Prairieville in our heated pool. Pool temps are kept between 86-90 degrees depending on air temperature. Some of the pools we have in outlying areas are heated, some not. Lessons in non-heated pools will be scheduled for May throughout the rest of the summer. Keep in mind, we cannot control the weather so refunds will not be given in the case of cold water.
Our lessons are private group lessons meaning only one class will be going on in a pool at a time. Each class usually has a maximum of 8 students with 2 instructors but occasionally, an extra student or two may join the class if their session was cancelled for some reason. If there are more than 5 students, an assistant will be in the pool with the lead instructor, keeping our instructor-student ratio 1:5 maximum, but usually, it's 1:4.
Parents or caregivers are in the water with children in our Tiny Tadpoles class. Parents or caregivers are required to attend and participate in all beginner swim lessons but are not actually in the water. You are an integral part of your child's success by supporting the method taught. In the beginner class, you will hand your child to the instructor in the water and assist them out as they swim to the steps. You will probably get wet in the process, so dress accordingly! Those with children enrolled in strokes courses are not required to be at poolside but are asked to stay in the area outside the pool by the tables and chairs in case your child needs attention.
Tadpole welcomes all children in our program and we have had great success in teaching children with varying backgrounds. We would love the opportunity to teach your child but want to make sure our fast-paced, group lessons are an appropriate fit. Please call or e-mail us for more info.
Reusable, cloth swim diapers are required for any swimmer that is not 100% potty-trained (3+ months, accident-free)!! These can be purchased online (we like the brand iPlay), at major retailers, or at Buy Buy Baby near the Mall of Louisiana. They do run quite small so you may want to "size up." We recommend a disposable swim diaper underneath for maximum protection. Cloth swim diapers are excellent in keeping solids contained and keeping our pool safe for all the little ones. If a child has an accident in the pool and solids scatter, the pool must be shut down and chemically sanitized. The cost of this treatment is $50 and will be passed along to the parent/guardian of the responsible party.
If your child has a disciplinary issue that is disruptive to the class or he/she is disrespectful to our instructors, you will receive one warning. If the issue continues, please understand that we will have to dismiss the child from the class. Of course, we want all children to learn how to swim but private lessons could be more appropriate for children who need a less distracting environment.
This term and the term dry drowning are not medically recognized, rather media sensationalized. We've had a lot of questions about it, so we want to be very up front with you and encourage you to do your research before signing up for our lessons. Humans who spend time under the water whether it be participating in swimming lessons, recreational swimming, or ANY water submersion, including the bathtub, have a very slight risk of drowning after exiting the water. This type of drowning is a rare phenomenon caused by small amounts of water entering the lungs while submerged. After exiting the water, a person could have symptoms that include: trouble breathing, chest pain, cough, or extreme fatigue. Please watch your children carefully for 5-8 hours after any water submersion event for these symptoms and seek medical attention immediately for oxygen or ventilation treatment.
Spitting up water and/or vomiting water are signs that water has entered the belly, not lungs, and are not symptoms of drowning.
Arrive early for EACH lesson. This will give your child time to "settle in" before getting wet and also allow you to hear our instructions before lessons begin.
Make sure your child participates in 100% of the lessons; never missing a turn. Repetition and exposure help children settle into lessons more quickly.
Expose children to a swimming pool prior to lessons. Even if they just play around the steps or move through the water in your arms, we've found comfort levels are higher if they've experienced the vastness of a pool prior to lessons. This is especially relevant for children under the age of 2½.
Plan to take your child swimming over the weekend between weeks 1 and 2 of lessons. This boosts their chance of success and lets us know what we need to work on our last few days together.
Please, NO GOGGLES OR MASKS in beginner lessons. We are trying to prepare children for an unintentional fall into a swimming pool and don't want them to be dependent on goggles. Goggles are fine for stroke courses.
Do not sign up your child up during a time slot when they would normally take a nap. For obvious reasons, this is not setting your child up for success!!
No, you do not get in the pool but you will get wet. This is how the beginner lessons begin:
Please Note: Little ones may want to be held until they get accustomed to the routine.
Yes, the beginner classes, not to be confused with Tiny Tadpoles, are for non-swimming children 2-6 years old. We tried a toddler-only class but found the success rate was much higher when the younger children mix with the big kids. The little ones modeled after the older children and got happy a lot faster than when they were with 1 and 2 year old children only.
After adding our Tiny Tadpoles class in 2017, we decided to raise the age of our beginner class to 24 months in 2018. Children with this class as a base did phenomenally better after having pool exposure and learning breath control. If you have an 18-24 month old that is comfortable with water over the head and face and can hold their breath when submerged, feel free to enroll them in the beginner class.
In Louisiana, we are always around water whether it be a swimming pool, pond, river, or simply a fountain in a business lobby. About 50% of the children under the age of 2 will learn how to swim proficiently during lessons but it's important to get them into a swim program so they learn about the consequences of water. Having your child in lessons at a young age also sets them up for the success in the coming years.
Survival First uses a prone positioning method so children learn to swim correctly with bodies on top of the water and faces down. Lessons are fast-paced and each day we repeat tasks several times until they are mastered as best they can be. About half of the children will be swimming by the end of the first week and more than 80% will be swimming by the end of 8 lessons. Putting your child in formal swim lessons reduces your child's risk of drowning by 88%! You'll be amazed at how well your toddlers and preschoolers will be swimming after just 4 hours of lessons. Don't become a statistic; allow us to teach your child to swim, NOW!
We now have over 50 residential pools around the greater Baton Rouge area, greater New Orleans, south Louisiana, Ferriday-Vidalia, and the Northshore/Tangi areas to serve you!
We applaud parents who are signing their children up for our lessons because they want their child to be able to swim safety in case they fall into a swimming pool. You will be staying for all of the lessons because you are the kind of parent who will want to learn these practices so you can continue them throughout the summer with your child. You do not actually get in the pool, but you are a vital part to your child's success because of your support on the sidelines. The first couple of days are challenging but after that, you'll be amazed and so proud of your little tadpole and their new skills!
Yes! You can absolutely put them in the same class, but I would bring someone to help you the first 2-3 days. This is how the lessons work:
Your child will likely be upset until they bond with us and get used to swimming correctly with their face in the water, so a helper will be nice to have. This has usually subsided after 2-3 lessons, and they begin to have the best time swimming!
Absolutely! If your baby/younger child has to come with you, we've had parents bring their little ones in everything from strollers to push cars. They can hang out in the shade and enjoy a snack while big bro/sis learns to swim, or they can ride right along side Mom or Dad near the pool. We make it work; just bring your "big kid(s)" to us so they can learn how to swim!