Swimming Lessons FAQ

Thank you for registering for swimming lessons with the Orem Recreation Department. We look forward to teaching your children this session! In order to help swimming lessons run smoothly, we would like to take a minute to address some common questions we get on a regular basis.

In order for a child to be able to swim before or after their lesson, they will have needed to pay daily admission or have a membership to the facility. In the event that a child does pay admission or has a membership and are under 9 years of age, they must also be accompanied by a responsible adult age 14 or older in the water and within arm’s reach at all times(Sitting on the side of the pool is not considered adequate supervision). If a child is at least 6 years old, they may take a ducky pass swim test. If they pass the test they can swim on their own, however a parent does still need to be in pool area.

Use caution allowing your swimmers to swim before and after class. Here are some things to be aware of when considering to allow a child to swim before/after their lessons…

  • Will swimming before their lesson cause them to run out of energy before their lesson is over?
  • A child could be very tired after a swim lesson, so be very cautious about allowing children to swim after their lesson. This could be a recipe for a dangerous situation.

Children who have been ill should be kept at home. This is in the best interest of their health as well as other class participants and their instructor. In order to maintain the integrity of our classes in regards to content and to size, we do not offer make-ups. We have found that adding swimmers to classes for make-ups disrupts the rhythm, safety and integrity of the class. Please do your best to attend! Sorry, no make-ups for illnesses, recitals, vacations, etc. If a class is cancelled by the instructor, the instructor will schedule a make-up lesson before the end of the current program session. Not attending a make-up class will not entitle you to a refund or credit, please do your best to attend.

Yes, however, they will have needed to pay daily admission or have a membership to the facility. In the event that a child does pay admission or has a membership and are under 9 years of age, they must also be accompanied by a responsible adult age 14 or older in the water and within arm’s reach at all times. If a child is at least 6 years old, they may take a ducky pass swim test. If they pass the test they can swim on their own, however a parent does still need to be in pool area.

Parents are welcome to get in the water with their children if needed to help with keeping children on task. However please know that in some circumstances the parent’s presence in the water can be hindrance. Instructors will have the final say regarding what is best for their individual classes.

Most bathing suits and swim trunks are acceptable. We ask that you make sure that your child’s swimwear fits snuggly so it will not hinder any movement. Children should not attend swim lessons with any built-in floatation. If you are concerned that your child gets too cold while in the water, you can look into purchasing a thermal swim suit. If your child is not potty trained, they will also be required to wear a swim diaper, rubber pants, and a swim suit.

We welcome and encourage this! For swimmers with long hair, we ask that it is tied back away from the face so not to interfere with learning to breath. *No metal clips please- they can fall out and cause rust stains on our pool bottom.

If you are considering using either of these as an aid for your young swimmer, please first discuss it with your instructor. Sometimes using these accessories can be more of a hindrance than an aid. This may need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For beginning swimmers, goggles can present a false sense of safety. If your swimmer feels they need goggles, they may bring them; however, for safety reasons a portion of lessons will be spent encouraging participants to be comfortable without goggles.

Once a child learns how to swim there are many advantages to keeping them in an ongoing swim program. That ongoing program could be completing all stages offered in our swim lesson program, but it could also be joining the OTAC swim team. Once a swimmer turns 15 years old, they can take part in a lifeguard course and possibly gain employment as a lifeguard, or they could pursue a job in teaching swim lessons themselves. Keeping swimmers involved in swimming can offer a lifelong skills and an incredible way to stay healthy.

Rest assured that it is not unusual to see tears and hear crying. Most often children experience fear due to separation anxiety or the overwhelming feeling caused by the pool environment. We ask that you trust our staff in helping your children overcome their fear. With your permission, an instructor may be comfortable pushing your child a little, but there is a fine line between pushing too hard and causing a greater fear, and helping a child realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Our instructors have seen both situations and have developed the ability to know when they can push a little harder and when we may have to say a child simply isn’t ready yet. No matter the decision of the instructor, they will be sure to discuss all situations with you and make sure you and your swimmer are getting the best instruction and communication possible.

Not all disciplinary problems are addressed and taken care of by our instructors. We use positive reinforcement to encourage appropriate class behavior such as self-identification of the problem, warnings and time-outs. If our instructor does not have success with this approach we may approach you in an effort to find a better method that is more effective for your child. We ask that you teach, talk about and review appropriate class behavior and pool rules with your child. We encourage parents to lead by example and to help children understand “respect” for the water, classmates, and instructors.

We do not establish passing or failing a stage as our primary definition of success. Failing does not apply to swim lessons as children are always making improvements. We consider learning to swim as a never ending process and as a chance to help encourage motor, language and social skills as well as emotional development. The rate at which a child progresses through our program is largely based on the amount of time spent working on skills outside of class. We strongly encourage families to enjoy swim time outside of class time. This will reinforce what is learned in class and help children become more comfortable in the environment they will be using to learn how to swim.

We have two options for those wanting to observe swimmers in lessons. You can sit in our observation area which is not on the pool deck or you can sit on our benches on the pool deck. Should you choose to sit on our pool deck, be prepared for a very warm and humid environment. Whichever option you choose, you may discover after a lesson or two, that it could be more beneficial for your child to change where you may be sitting. Some children do better knowing their parents are close at hand, while others do better knowing their parent isn’t sitting so close. This will only be discovered after participating in a lesson or two. From an instructor stand point, we appreciate it when parents are visible during lessons, whether that’s on the pool deck or in the observation area, in case of any behavioral issues a parent could assist the instructor with, or when a child may need to use the restroom. If the instructor has a suggestion as to where they believe it would be best for you to sit after working with your swimmer, they will certainly discuss that with you.