Why Sometimes it Takes Some Kids Longer to Progress in Swim Lessons

Have you ever wondered why your child doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in their swim lesson level?  Well sometimes it takes kids longer to become proficient in a skill.  Here is an approximate** guide to how long it might take your child to pass a swim lesson level.

Angelfish: Must be 18 months old
Starfish: Must be 3 years old
Goldfish: 1 Session, possibly 2 depending on your child and their water experience and your child’s personality if they are shy or outgoing.
Penguin: 1-2 Sessions; depending on how comfortable your child is on their back
Otter: 2 Sessions: Back skills may hold your child back
Seal: 2 Sessions: Side breathing skills for 20 feet are difficult. Also, it will depend on how comfortable your child is in the deep water.

Penguin: 1 Session; Maybe 2 depending on your child’s water experience
Otter: 1-2 Session; Back skills may hold your child back
Seal: 2 Sessions: Side breathing skills for 30 feet are difficult.
Polar Bear: 1 or 2 Sessions; 6 or 7 year olds may need two
Sea Lion: 2 Sessions
Piranha: Ongoing
Dolphin: 2 or 3 Sessions depending on breaststroke and endurance
Park Shark I: 2 sessions; side stroke with scissor kick will make this level difficult to pass in one session.
Park Shark II: 2 Sessions; Stroke and skill endurance will make this level difficult to pass in one session

As always if you are not sure why or have questions talk to your child’s instructor or the Lead Instructor at the facility you are swimming at.

**Please remember that these are approximate guidelines and not every child will fit into these guidelines.


Think Safe, Be Safe

For Everyone:
Always put on plenty of sunscreen before you go outside. It’s also a good idea to wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Drink plenty of water and fluids when you’re outside swimming and playing so you don’t become dehydrated.

Think Safe, Be Safe!

For the Parents:
Always make sure you are watching your child; never leave a young child unattended even for a few seconds—when they are in or near water, or leave the responsibility on another child to watch your child.  If they are small try to stay arm’s length away at all times.  Teach your child to always ask permission to go near water.

For the Kids:
Always have an adult watch you when you are in the pool — even in your own backyard. Always ask before going in water. Never go in the pool if there is no adult around. Always call an adult or lifeguard if there is an emergency.

Celebrate Summer Fun with US!

Looking for something to do with your little ones?  Montavilla Pool is having their Itty Bitty Beach Party this weekend on Saturday, July 14th; from 11:30-1pm.  We will have age appropriate games & activities for the whole family and we will have a special prize for Montavilla’s Itty Bitty Beach Party 25 kids’ towels for us to hand out as prizes that were donated by Hanna Andersson.  Wader the Gator himself will be there too!

Itty Bitty Beach Parties are for Ages 6 months to 6 years and the cost is Regular Admission.

We offer other Itty Bitty Beach Parties at our other pools, along with Fun Days, Teen Swim Parties and Dive-in Movies.  To see our whole list of special events for the summer at all Portland Parks & Recreation pools please click here.

Hi my name is Timmy!

As you may or may not be aware, our lifeguards are trained and licensed through Jeff Ellis & Associates, they are an international lifeguard training company that is on the cutting edge of the highest standards possible for lifeguards.  Being a client of Ellis & Associates, we have standards that we have to comply with on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.  One of these standards is performing Vigilance Awareness Training otherwise known as VAT Drills.  Each one of the 13PortlandParksand Recreation aquatic facilities has to perform a minimum of 8 manikin drops and 4 Live Action Rescues a month. 

Timmy is the name of the manikin that we drop into the pool.  He might be in an area where you maybe swimming. Please don’t be alarmed, we are testing and continuing to train our lifeguards.  There will be times that Timmy will be in the water waiting for the next lifeguard to rotate out and there will be times he will be for the lifeguard who is already on the pool deck scanning and watching their area of the pool.  During these drills, a supervisor will be on the pool deck and additional staff members will be off deck ready to cover the zone of the lifeguard who has entered the water.

Our Live Action VATs, are exactly that, a live guest struggling actively in the water.  The lifeguard will then recognize this and will go in and respond to that guest.  Typically the guest is another staff member. 

We would like to thank you in advance for your patience during these drills as we are making sure we have best lifeguards around to watch the water and our patrons.  Feel free to stop by your local pool office if you have any further questions.

Swim Lesson Tips for Parents

Here are some great tips to help you have the best experience with us:
1. Communicate with your child’s swim instructor.  There are 5 minutes before and after class for you to discuss your child’s progress with the instructor.

2. De-emphasize passing or failing a class. No child fails a swim class; they all improve. Several sessions at one swim level is not uncommon.

3. Bring your child to open play swim to work on the skills being taught in the class.

4. Please have your child use the restroom prior to swim lessons.

5. Bring a large towel and warm clothes for your child for after the lesson.

6. Secure child’s hair from their face prior to lesson.

7. Provide some kind of head covering for wet hair and ears after lesson.

8. Allow only light meals prior to lessons.

9. If you notice your child crying or not paying attention to the instructor, it may be best to withdraw from the child’s view or not watch every lesson.

10. Be positive at home concerning swimming. They will be looking for your positive attitude and encouragement.

Summer is Here!

Our summer season has started, all of our 13 pools, 6 indoor & 7 outdoor are up and running for our summer months.  The weather forecast for our lovely Oregon summers is still holding true, mild weather until the 4th of July, then starting the 5th of July summer will arrived.  This next week it is suppose to get close to 90 degrees here in Portland, so come and stay cool at one of our local pools.

 Here are 5 top things to remember when it gets hot out:

  1. Stay Hydrated – Even though you may be cooling off by swimming, you can still get dehydrated when you are swimming.  You still sweat and loose fluids, but you don’t realize it.  You should drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
  2. Make sure you use sun block when you are outdoors.  As much as we like getting tan during our summer months.  If you get a sun burnt, that can also makes you dehydrated and more lethargic and it can be harder to do things.  Repeat often!
  3. Eat healthy food and lots of protein.  Eating junk food and soda, doesn’t give you the good nutrition or energy your body needs.  Drinking a lot of soda pop has a lot of salt & sugar that also helps with the dehydration process.
  4. Never swim alone.  Always make sure you have someone with you when you go swimming.  That way if something happens they can help or go get help.
  5. Have Fun!