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3 Reasons Year-Round Childhood Swim Lessons Are Worth Every Penny

3 Reasons Year-Round Childhood Swim Lessons Are Worth Every Penny

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3 Reasons Year-Round Childhood Swim Lessons Are Worth Every PennyIt’s that time of year where children are back in class and refocusing on their studies. Many parents are forced to make the decision about whether their kids will remain in their swim classes or opt for other activities. At Premier, we support every parent in his or her decision because we understand that no one knows your kids better than you, but we wanted to take a moment to remind you of the top 5 reasons year-round swim lessons are worth the investment.

Keeping Your Child Safe

The primary goal of teaching your child to swim is simple: help keep them safe around the water. Like all new skills, swim skills need to be practiced for them to remain effective. As children progress through their summer swim lessons, they become more and more capable of staying afloat. However, after months outside of the water, those skills diminish significantly.

Proven, Progressive Curriculum

With professional swim lessons, the curriculum is carefully crafted to progressively build upon skills. Each achievement leads them into the next level, so they are more likely to experience great success in their lessons. Professional swim lessons are designed to keep children learning in a continuous manner. When lessons are interrupted for months at a time, children spend a good deal of time relearning the skills they need to progress to the next level, which can be frustrating for both the child and the parents.

Stronger Performance in the Classroom

In a study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia, researchers found that children who participated in swim lessons demonstrated more advanced cognitive abilities than other children. From understanding directions to mathematics reasoning, your investment in childhood swim lessons may also be contributing to a stronger performance in the classroom.

Despite the cooling temperatures outside, it’s important to keep your children safe and capable around the water. Keeping your child enrolled in year-round childhood swim lessons not only keeps their skills honed, but it also sets them up for lifelong fun in the water.  Click here to learn more about the Premier Aquatic’s year-round swim lesson programs.

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7 Tips for Overcoming Fear of the Water

7 Tips for Overcoming Fear of the Water

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7 Tips for Overcoming Fear of the WaterMany children have a natural love of the water. Summer vacations are often spent splashing and laughing with their friends in the backyard pool or the beach. However, for other children, the water can cause a great deal of anxiety. To help children overcome a fear of the water, parents should make a gentle introduction and move at the comfort level of the kids. By showing children that the water can be fun and taking care to not add to the fear, parents can help their children find a lifelong love of the swimming.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Start Small

The initial goal of introducing your children to the water is to create a comfortable environment for them to develop an understanding of how water works. Start in the bathtub or with a small kiddie pool in the backyard. Use warm water, which is more relaxing than cold water, and only fill it up to their legs.

Use Toys

As they’re sitting in their shallow, warm water, bring in their favorite toys. Some of the toys should float and some should sink, so that the child can begin to make visual sense of it all.

Pour Water

Once a child become comfortable sitting in the shallow water, add a cup or bucket to the mix, so he can begin to experiment with pouring the water over his skin. Be cautious to not pour the water over his face until he is ready for it. Begin by pouring it over the back of his head, and then slowly let some of it dribble forward. Take it slow, as this can be scary for the child.

Blow Bubbles

One of the best ways to begin developing comfort with getting a child’s face wet is to make a game out of blowing bubbles. As the child gets her face closer to the water, she’s naturally gaining an understanding of how the water works and whether she needs to fear it or not.

Dangle Toes

Once the child has progressed past his fear of water in the bathtub, it’s time to sit next to a pool. Dangle your feet into the water with the child close to your side. Encourage him to do the same. Once they are comfortable with that, try sitting on the top step in the pool. As the child’s comfort level increases, continue to progress a little deeper with the goal of getting them to stand on their own while immersed.

Bring Friends

Children are more likely to try something new when they see their friends or siblings enjoying the activity. Additionally, they’re fantastic at mimicking. Play games with the children in the water that encourage them to focus on something other than the water around them.

Take Lessons

Professional swim instructors are not only trained to teach your child how to swim; they are also prepared to help your child overcome fears. By arming your child with the skills they need to swim, you’ll replace anxiety with a sense of accomplishment. Premier Aquatic Services swim instructors use an exciting approach to help swimmers of all ages learn the skills necessary for a lifetime of swimming enjoyment.

To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register family for fall swim classes, visit our aquatic services page.

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How To Choose A Swim Lesson Program

How To Choose A Swim Lesson Program

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How To Choose A Swim Lesson ProgramSwimming can provide lifelong enjoyment and increase an individual’s safety around the water. It’s never too late to learn to swim, nor is there really an age that is too young to be exposed to the water. Parent & Me style swim lessons are available for babies as young as three months old.

When choosing a swim school, it’s important to find a professional program that fits with your needs, supports productive learning, and promotes safety. After all, a good experience in the water prepares you and your children for a lifetime of fun in the water, while a negative one can result in fears and insecurities that are unnecessary. Here are the most important areas to research while looking for your swim program.

Professionalism

Professional swim programs will have clearly defined objectives, schedules, and pricing structures, so that clients can make the best decisions for their unique needs. These programs should have progressive class structures, and they should have the ability to accommodate people of all ages and abilities.

Instructor Training and Credentials

Swim instructors should be certified by a nationally recognized organization, such as the American Red Cross, on water safety and the best techniques for teaching swim skills. Before enrolling in a swim school, talk with the organization about their swim instructors’ certifications and the school’s swim instructor training programs.

Class Assignments

Group classes should be based upon objective skill levels, meaning each group should have participants with similar abilities. When researching a swim school, discuss the criteria for determining class placement.

Class Size

Just as group classes should have progressive assignments, they should also have reasonable class sizes. For safety’s sake, always ask about the student-to-instructor ratio for group and semi-private lessons before enrolling your children in group classes.

Class Structure

Not every student has the same needs, and often times those needs will change and progress over time. Find a swim schools that has a variety of class structures, such as individual lessons, semi-private lessons, and group classes. That way, you have the option of taking individual lessons to work on a specific skill outside of your group class if you need to.

Attention to Safety

Safety should be a primary concern for a high-quality swim school. This means that certified lifeguards should be on duty whenever students are in the pool, staff should be trained in first aid and CPR, and rules should be enforced that promote safety around the pool.

Premier Aquatic Services is a comprehensive aquatics service company specializing in professional aquatics programming, lifeguarding, and CPR/AED and First Aid training. We pride ourselves on our ability to address each of our clients’ needs, while promoting water safety throughout our community.

Ready to enroll in swim lessons? Register for classes on our website.

Being Safe in the Hot Summer Sun

Being Safe in the Hot Summer Sun

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Being Safe in the Hot Summer SunWe all loved the sun-kissed look of summer skin, but a day in the sunshine requires extra caution to ensure your health and safety.

Believe it or not, the energy that comes from the sun is actually a form of radiation. Our atmosphere blocks much of the dangerous radiation, but two types of rays make their way through – Ultra Violet A (UVA) and Ultra Violet B (UVB). With the depletion of the ozone layer, these rays have become a more pressing health concern.

No one likes to think about it, but overexposure to the sun can cause more than just painful sunburns, including skin cancer, eye damage, and premature aging. With some simple precautions, you can limit your risks and enjoy the season safely.

Use Sunscreen. When you will be exposed to the sun, be sure to use a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before sun exposure and should be reapplied after 2 hours of water exposure or sweating. Also, don’t forget to protect lips, ears, and the tops of your feet.

Protect Babies. Sunscreen isn’t recommended for babies under 6 months old, so it’s important to keep your baby in the shade as much as possible. If you are outdoors, bring an umbrella or use the shade in the baby’s stroller.

Wear Protective Clothing. Whether this means a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses at the beach, a rash guard when surfing, or long sleeves when hiking, cover your skin as much as possible when playing in the sun.

Mind the UV Index. The National Weather Service calculates the UV Index, or the level of solar radiation expected, for most zip codes each day. Lower numbers mean a reduced risk, and higher numbers mean you should limit your sun exposure.

Be Aware of Timing. If you can’t see your shadow, you are in a peak time for sun exposure. Between the hours of 10:00 and 4:00, the sun is at its strongest. By being aware of the time of day, you can make the decision to seek shade more than sunshine.

Understand Reflection. Water, sand, and snow all reflect the sun’s rays, making overexposure happen faster. So regardless of the time of year, be aware of how your environment is impacting the strength of the sun. Protect your skin properly, so you can enjoy the day.

Avoid Sun Tanning. We understand that you value your sun-kissed skin, but avoid sun tanning as much as possible and certainly avoid tanning beds. You may with to try experimenting with self-tanning lotion, but don’t forget that it can’t replace sunscreen.

At Premier Aquatic Services, we are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our community members. We live in an environment of year-round sunshine, so we need to remember to take the proper precautions to keep ourselves safe. Additionally, we should always have a skin exam as a part of our annual doctor visits.

To learn more about issues relating to your child’s health and safety, sign up for one of our classes, enroll in swim lessons, or simply follow us on Facebook.

Swim Lessons at Premier Aquatic Services

Premier’s Swim Instructor Development Program

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Swim Lessons at Premier Aquatic ServicesAt Premier Aquatic Services, we take safety seriously. That’s why we developed a unique swim instructor training program designed to take our swim instructors’ skills to the next level. Our swim instructor development program has five levels of training, and each stage takes place with a master instructor.

Level 1 of Swim Instructor Development

In Level 1 training, prospective instructors spend 30 hours working on their basic skills. Our program leverages coursework, homework, videos, tests, and hands-on lessons in the pool to give each prospective instructor a well-rounded education. This program is designed to prepare instructors for teaching Level 1 (Jellyfish) through Level 4 (Guppy) Group LTS classes.

Upon graduation from Level 1, new instructors co-teach classes until the senior instructors feel the junior instructor has developed his or her skills and can be promoted to teaching on his or her own.

Premier’s Advanced Certifications for Swim Instructors

Master instructors watch the junior instructors closely as they continue to grow in their roles. In time, a junior instructor may be chosen for one of Premier’s advanced certifications:

  • Advanced Stroke Instructors
  • Baby Swim Training
  • Swim Lessons for Children with Special Needs
  • Water Aerobics

These advanced certifications each require an additional 20-30 hours of coursework in the classroom and the pool.

Creating a Team You Can Trust

Since our inception, we have been dedicated to building a team that our community can trust. After all, our clientele regularly entrusts us with their family’s safety and wellbeing – something we take very seriously.

Are you ready to enroll your family in swim classes? With a range of classes from “Baby and Me” to “Group Learn to Swim”, we offer swim classes for children and adults of all ages and experience levels. Explore our swim programs on our website.

Water Safety During Group Outings

Water Safety During Group Outings: Ensuring Your Child’s Safety

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Water Safety During Group OutingsThis summer, many groups will be headed to pools, lakes, and beaches to escape the heat and enjoy some fun. Regardless of whether it’s a church group, summer day camp, or community organization, group outings can be a fun and potentially dangerous scenario, especially when water is involved.

While group outings seem like a safer situation because there are so many individuals that could be looking after your child, sensory overload can cause the adult supervisors to lose track of individual children. To help parents evaluate their child’s safety in a group setting, the American Red Cross offers some essential questions to ask before your child gets on the bus.

May I see the written safety plan? Supervisors should have a plan to help maintain the safety of the children in their care. By asking this question before the departure date, you could help bring their potential lack of planning to their attention and help to ensure the safety of others in the group.

Will the group only be swimming in areas with a certified lifeguard? Whether at the pool or beach, it’s important for parents to know if a trained lifeguard will be monitoring the children’s playtime for saftey. For effective surveillance of the water and optimal safety, the standard rate of swimmers to lifeguard should not exceed 20-to-1.

What is the chaperone-to-child ratio? A group outing with five chaperones sounds great, until you hear that 100 children will be present. By understanding how many children each supervisor will be responsible for, you can make a better judgment on the plan that the group has in place.

What activities are planned, and how will they be supervised? Different water activities pose different risks. Additionally, some activities may require more skill in the water than others. By discussing the activities that are planned, you can help the chaperones understand your child’s skill level in the water.

How will a child’s swimming ability be evaluated and tracked? Whether it’s color coded swim caps or specified groups based upon ability, it’s important for individual chaperones to understand the abilities of each child in their care.

How will children be prevented from participating in activities that are above their skill levels? Especially in a large group, it will happen; some children will not have the necessary skills to participate in all activities. In that case, where will those children be directed and who will supervise them?

Is there a system in place to quickly account for all children? Whether it’s role calls, buddy systems, or small group counts, every group outing should have a way to quickly and efficiently know whether every member is present. This process should be practiced at least once at the beginning of the outing.

What levels of training are required for the staff (such as lifeguards) and chaperones? Understand whether the lifeguards are certified lifeguards, and ask about the skills of the chaperones. Are they trained in water safety, first aid, and CPR?

Premier Can Help You Prepare Your Chaperones

At Premier Aquatic Services, we specialize in keeping our community safe around the water. If you plan on having regular group outings during the summer and fall, you may consider enrolling your regular chaperones and supervisors in one of our Health and Safety Classes. If you are hosting an event at your local pool, you may consider hiring a professional Certified Premier Lifeguard to ensure the safety of your guests. Regardless of your needs, the team at Premier Aquatic Services wants you to have safe group outings all year round. Contact us to discuss what we can do to help you promote safety.

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06.30.16_Tips for a Safe 4th of July Celebration

Tips for a Safe 4th of July Celebration

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06.30.16_Tips for a Safe 4th of July Celebration

The summer is officially in full swing. With the Fourth of July holiday weekend just days away, now is the perfect opportunity to freshen up on some tips for keeping your children safe during celebrations that take place around water.

Inspect Your Safety Fence – With our beautiful, year-round weather, homeowners should inspect safety fences around pools and water features at the beginning of each season. However, it’s especially important to inspect it before having any summertime celebrations at your home. For more tips on preparing your home for a safe summer, read our blog: Residential Pool Safety Tips for Your Summer Fun.

Have a Water Watcher – This may be the single most important step for water safety during the weekend’s festivities. With a buzz of activity, it’s easy for an adult to get distracted by conversations, introductions, or other hosting duties. Every time you have children around water, it’s important to designate someone to be the Water Watcher. This individual’s sole responsibility is to supervise the pool and ensure everyone’s safety.

Teach Children to Swim – The best defense against childhood drowning is to teach your child the skills he or she would need to stay afloat in water. At Premier, we teach children of all ages, so that they can enjoy a lifelong love of the water.

Understand Their Ability – Not all children have the same abilities in the water. Especially when enjoying the water with children of ranging abilities, it’s essential to understand your child’s ability and monitor his or her activities in the water accordingly.

Recognize Their Curiosity – From one day to the next, a child’s curiosity can change. This can be dangerous around the water, as a curious child may venture too close to the pool, ocean tide-line, or fountain.

Avoid Floating Toys – While lots of fun, floating pool toys can give children a false sense of security and invite them to adventure above their skill levels.

Discourage Competitive Underwater Games ­– Games such as “who can hold their breath the longest” may seem like innocent fun, but they can lead to hyperventilating or losing consciousness.

Keep Pool Toys Hidden – Children who see something that they want can become determined to get it. Whether fun toys are inside the pool gate or simply sitting near the water, it can invite kids to get closer than they normally would without an adult.

Walk the Property at Parties – Summer parties often take place at someone else’s home. Just because there isn’t a pool in the backyard doesn’t mean there isn’t a drowning hazard around. Before letting your kids run off into the yard, walk the property to look for fountains, hot tubs, or other water features.

Check the Pool First – If a child goes missing, always check the water first. When it comes to drowning, every second counts.

Whether through childhood swim lessons or American Red Cross first aid courses, our #1 goal is to help create a safer community. For more information on drowning prevention, please read our two-part series: Reducing The Risk Of Childhood Drowning.

From the entire team at Premier Aquatic Services, we’d like to wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.

How Long Will It Take For My Child To Learn To Swim?

How Long Will It Take For My Child To Learn To Swim?

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How Long Will It Take For My Child To Learn To Swim?As parents enroll their children in swim lessons, it’s natural for them to have questions. One of the common questions we hear is “how long will it take for my child to learn how to swim?” While a simple answer would be welcomed, it simply couldn’t be accurate.

Just like learning to read, children learn new skills at their own pace. There are many factors that can lead to a longer learning period, such as overcoming fears or a shorter attention span. What is essential is that parents encourage children to continue to set reasonable goals and foster a fun learning environment.

Here is a breakdown of the seven general factors that play into a child’s learning pace.

Chronological Age – In the most general assessments, children of a similar chronological age often have achieved similar milestones in their development. However, that does not mean that they have the same skills. Especially when a child is learning a detailed skill, such as swimming, many other factors play into their actual abilities.

Motor Skill Development – At the base level, some people are more coordinated than others, and that will always be the case. If you were to dive deeper into the discussion, some children’s motor skills simply take longer to develop than others; it doesn’t mean they won’t be fully coordinated adults. If you feel as though your child’s motor skill development is far behind schedule, it may be best to consult your pediatrician.

Emotional Development – Learning to swim is a full person experience. A child’s emotional development can launch them towards success or hold them back. It is normal for children to be nervous or fearful when learning to swim. It is also an opportunity for parents to help their child overcome the anxiety of learning a new skill and bolster his or her emotional development.

Cognitive Development – While many adults see swimming as a single task, learning to swim requires the ability to take very specific instructions, interpret them, and put them together into movements. It’s very complicated, especially for young children. However, swim lessons can actually help your child’s cognitive development.

Physical Development – In addition to cognitive skills, learning to swim also requires strength and coordination. As children grow, their bodies become stronger, and they learn how to better control their movement. Exposing children to activities, such as swim lessons, can help enhance their physical development.

Practice Time with A Well-Trained Instructor – Well-trained instructors know how to work with children and progressively build upon skills in a structured setting. The more time a child has with a well-trained instructor, the more likely he or she is to learn at a faster pace. While learning with parents and older siblings can be effective, it doesn’t necessarily have the same efficiency as learning in a structured swim program.

Unstructured Swim Time – While structured swim lessons will help a child learn at a faster pace, unstructured swim time is just as important for the learning process. Children need to have time to experiment with their new skills and the movement of their bodies on their own. Play is an essential part of learning to swim.

Swim Lessons With Premier

Premier Aquatic Services swim instructors use an exciting approach to help swimmers of all ages learn the skills necessary for a lifetime of swimming enjoyment. Our certified swim instructors are experienced with teaching all levels, and they are able to help parents differentiate between a child’s normal progression and signs of developmental issues that should be watched.

To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register family for summer swim classes, visit our aquatic services page.

For more information on water safety, follow us on Facebook.

American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course

American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course

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American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor CoursePremier Aquatic Services not only offers swim lessons and lifeguard services, we also train others. Through our swim instructor training programs, participants learn the skills they need to start their careers as a swim instructor.

The purpose of our American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Program is two-fold:

  1. To learn how to help others be safe in, on, and around the water, and
  2. To learn how to teach people of all ages and abilities how to swim.

Premier’s swim instructor training programs leverages the American Red Cross program to provide a logical progression for learning the knowledge and skills necessary for aquatic skill development. In turn, this leads to safer and better swimmers.

About the Swim Instructor Training Program

The swim instructor training program features 30 hours of classroom and practical training, designed to teach the theory and provide active practice. Participants must be at least 16 years old, and be able to swim 25 yards using all six major strokes – freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke, and treading water for 2 minutes.

In addition to in-depth discussions on water safety concerns, the program walks through the major principles of swim instruction, including:

  • Understanding Hydrodynamic Principles
  • Basic Aquatic Skills
  • Basic Swimming Strokes
  • Entries, Starts, and Turns
  • Diving

To successfully complete the course, participants must attend and participate in all class sessions and demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities. Upon successful completion, participants receive an American Red Cross certificate as a Water Safety Instructor.

Enroll in Premier’s Swim Instructor Training Program

At Premier, our staff is dedicated to promoting water safety in every way possible. From childhood swim lessons to private lifeguard services for parties, Premier offers an array of services for your family. To enroll in our swim instructor training program or any of our American Red Cross first aid classes, visit our website.

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Recognizing the Signs of a Concussion

Everyday Injury or Significant Trauma: Recognizing the Signs of a Concussion

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Recognizing the Signs of a ConcussionChildren fall. Bumps and bruises are simply a part of the childhood experience. However, especially for young athletes, some types of falls and hits can cause a serious condition: a concussion.

Concussions aren’t a newly identified condition; we’ve all heard about them for years and years. However, in more recent years, the medical community has begun to recognize how dangerous concussions can be, especially for children.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that can occur in a number of different ways. It can happen by a direct hit (either the head hitting something or being hit by something) or by an indirect, sudden force. According to the American Academy of Neurology, “each year, 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions result from sports injuries in the United States. Almost nine percent of all US high school sports injuries involve concussions. Most concussions result in full recovery. However, some can lead to more severe injuries.”

Why Do I Need to Know the Symptoms?

While coaches, lifeguards, and athletic trainers are often trained at assessing whether a child has experienced a concussion after a potential concussion-causing impact, parents are an essential line of defense. This is because concussion symptoms often don’t appear until long after the injury occurred.

Parents know their children; they know their children’s sleeping patterns, moods, and levels of awareness more than any outsider ever could. Therefore, if parents are trained at recognizing the signs of a concussion, they are able to get their children the proper medical attention, even if the symptoms don’t appear until hours or days after the event.

What Are the Signs of a Concussion?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breaks down the signs of a concussion into two categories: observed symptoms and reported symptoms.

The symptoms parents may notice in their child include:

  • Being unable to recall events prior to or after a hit or fall
  • Appearing stunned or dazed
  • Forgetting basic instructions, being confused about assignments or tasks, or being unable to identify details of the day
  • Moving clumsily
  • Answering questions slowly
  • Losing consciousness (even briefly)
  • Showing mood, behavior, or personality changes, including irritability, nervousness, anxiety, or sadness
  • Changes in sleep patterns, including sleeping more, having more challenges waking than usual, being unable to fall asleep, or being unable to remain asleep
  • Having one pupil (the black spot in the center of the eye) larger than the other

The symptoms a child may report to his or her parent may include:

  • Headache or pressure that gets worse and doesn’t subside
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems, dizziness, double vision, or blurry vision
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, inability to concentrate, or memory problems
  • More vague statements such as “just not feeling right” or “feeling down”

In some cases, symptoms may be evident immediately after the accident, but other times, symptoms do not appear for hours or days after the impact. Either way, a concussion is a serious injury that requires medical attention.

What Do I Do If My Child Shows Symptoms?

If your child has experienced an accident where there was an impact to the head or significant “jolt” to the body, it’s important to continue to watch for symptoms of a concussion. If symptoms arise, seek medical attention immediately.

Swimming, whether recreationally or competitively, is a low-risk sport in terms of the likelihood of experiencing a concussion-causing impact, but the truth is that any child can get injured at any time. At Premier Aquatic Services, our team is dedicated to teaching children how to be safe and educating parents on issues relating to safety and first aid.

To learn more about issues relating to your child’s health and safety, sign up for one of our classes or follow us on Facebook.