Sunday, September 17, 2017


One of my family's favorite ways to have a good time is enjoying ourselves in the water.  We all love to have fun at beaches, pools and water parks.  With that in mind, my kids have been taking swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School for the last year to help them be safe and have the athletic proficiency to make the most out of those activities taking place in and around the water.

While playing in the water can be really fun, a lapse in judgment or unexpected circumstances can quickly lead to a treacherous scenario.  Even for experienced adult swimmers suffering from a cramp while swimming, being caught in a rip current that can't easily be escaped or misjudging water conditions or depth are hazards that happen quite regularly.  So for kids it is even more important to be prepared when it comes to water safety and swimming skills so they are ready to handle themselves when unexpected hazards arise.  For us one of those dangerous situations arose during a family vacation and it turns out Goldfish Swim School lessons really did save the day.

My kids are drawn to water park lazy rivers.  They don't like to make their way around these canals by being pushed along in a slow moving current while lying in a giant inner tube though.  The twins need to run and swim around the course instead.  In fact, if you look around most lazy rivers you'll probably see quite a few kids swimming and walking around the course instead of relaxing by floating on a raft.

During a visit to Universal Orlando Resort's Volcano Bay water park, the first thing my son wanted to do was go on a lazy river.  While my daughter and I were in line for an aqua coaster, my wife and son made there way into what they thought was a lazy river.  What they didn't realize was that this wasn't a normal lazy river but rather a more intense version called TeAwa The Fearless River.  At first glance it  seemed fairly peaceful but it quickly turned into a white water rapids style ride with fast currents and choppy waves.  My son misjudging the situation jumped off his tube like he normally does and was caught off guard as the water conditions quickly began to intensify.  He was in trouble!

The current and waves were dragging him under and it was too deep in places for him to stand and get his balance.  Waves had pushed my wife in her inner tube several yards in front of my son and as it became apparent he was struggling in the water she tried to get back to him.  The current was too swift and powerful for her to make it back to him.  The situation was quickly becoming very precarious for my son's safety.

The boy never panicked though and put his Goldfish Swim School lessons to use!  He utilized a variety of the things taught during his classes to get himself out of this pickle he found himself in.  He used the side breathing they utilize during laps in the pool to get breathes of air whenever he could emerge from the water.  Combining the strokes he has learned with the treading water water safety skills Goldfish Swim School has their students practice kept him from being sucked under by the current.  Following the instructions he had been provided of reviewing your surroundings and calling for help, he was able to get a lifeguard's attention who jumped in with a float to assist him.

Those Goldfish Swim School lessons kept him from panicking and provided enough training to help him get out of danger even when the water conditions were too intense for his overall swimming abilities.  He was embarrassed by what happened but otherwise unscathed and ready to jump right back into the water.  Goldfish Swim School saved the day!

We found out later in the day that Volcano Bay actually has a regular lazy river called Kopiko Wai Winding River which was much more my kids speed.  Both my son and daughter spent a good amount of the rest of our time at the water park enjoying this winding river.  I noticed though that neither of them jumped off their rafts again though.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ten people on average die everyday within the United States from drowning.  It is the 5th leading cause of unintentional injury death in the USA.  A person can black out from water inhalation in 90 seconds or less with serious brain damage or death occurring within four minutes of a drowning incident.  Kids having swimming lessons can really make a big difference in helping them avoid becoming a CDC statistic as my family's own story has demonstrated.

Make sure your time spent in the water is all smiles.  Enroll your child in Goldfish swimming lessons! Goldfish Swim Schools originated in Metro Detroit 10 years ago and have since expanded across Michigan and into 14 other states (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma & Texas). They have programs from children as young as infants and as old as 12.  For more information, please visit

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