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.

Protecting Your Neck- Why Proper Breaststroke Techniques Are So Important

Protecting Your Neck: Why Proper Breaststroke Techniques Are So Important

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Protecting Your Neck- Why Proper Breaststroke Techniques Are So ImportantAs your child progresses through his or her swim lessons, it’s natural to have questions about the skills being taught and why certain techniques seem to be so important. While children are younger, the goals for their swim lessons tend to revolve around learning to be safe in and near the water. When they have become proficient at the basic skills, the goals tend to turn towards proper techniques, so they can enjoy the benefits of swimming long into adulthood.

The Problem: Head-Above-Water Breaststroke

Many swimmers, both young and older, often use a head above water variation of the breaststroke. Perhaps it’s because the swimmer is uncomfortable putting his or her face in the water or because he thinks he is using less energy. Regardless of the reason, swimming the breaststroke with your head above water can put a significant and unnecessary strain on your neck.

Imagine walking for twenty minutes with your face pointed straight up towards the sky. After your stroll, you’d have quite a neck ache! Swimming the breaststroke with your head above water puts your body in essentially the same position.

The Solution: Proper Spinal Alignment for the Breaststroke

While swimming the breaststroke, your spine should remain relatively straight from your head to your tailbone. If your head remains out of the water, you are unnecessarily straining the vertebrae in your neck with an unnatural arch. Here are some tips to help you keep your spine properly aligned as you swim the breaststroke:

  • Position your head slightly forward with a mild tuck in your chin to help you keep your neck straight.
  • Pull in your abdominal muscles to support your straight back.
  • Keep your hips as close to the surface as possible to avoid a bend in your lower spine.
  • As your arms start the pull phase, bring your head out of the water and breathe in through your mouth. Keep your head and shoulders relaxed and free from tension.
  • As you reach your arms forward in the recovery stage, extend your head forward into the water with your ears in line with your biceps. Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth.

Developing a proper technique for any swim stroke takes time and training, but these tips will help you avoid straining your neck and back while you perfect your efficiency in the water.

Remember, learning the proper technique for swimming the breaststroke and all other swim techniques is a rewarding accomplishment at any age. The experienced swim instructors at Premier Aquatic Services are trained to work with swimmers of every age and ability. Visit our Swim School to learn more.

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

International Water Safety Day

International Water Safety Day

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International Water Safety DayWith International Water Safety Day being observed across the globe this past Sunday, drowning prevention and water safety continues to be a hot topic of conversation this week. According to, this special observance “is designed to help spread global awareness of the ongoing drowning pandemic, and educate the youth in becoming safer in and around water.”

Since our inception, the team at Premier Aquatic Services has been dedicated to water safety throughout our community. We joined forces with The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation to create a year-round educational campaign aimed at developing safer water, safer kids, and safer response. We believe that through the education of children and adults throughout our community, we can reduce the risk of drowning.

Here are some essential tips for helping to reduce the risk of drowning in our community:

  • Arm children (and adults) with lifesaving swim skills
  • Have the discussion with your family about what to do in a water emergency
  • Inspect your residential pool and ensure it is properly secured
  • Install an alarm in your residential pool
  • Hire a trained lifeguard or at least designate an adult pool supervisor during any parties that happen in or around water
  • Adhere to the “no one swims alone” rule
  • Consider taking CPR classes and include the older children in your family

Through first aid training, water safety classes, and swim lesson programs, Premier Aquatic Services is dedicated to providing our local community with the skills they need to be safer in and around the water. We recognize that a vital component of drowning prevention is education. Our team visits schools, youth conferences, and other events to speak with children and educators about water risks, safety, and drowning prevention. Contact us to learn more about our array of services.

Join Us for Premier Water Safety Day on May 21

This month, we’re going a step further by hosting Premier Water Safety Day! In partnership with the City of Aliso ViejoSafer 3 Drowning Prevention Program, and Orange County Fire Authority, the 2nd Annual Water Safety Day will feature fun for the whole family!

  • Enjoy games for all skill levels
  • Learn about water safety with fun activities
  • Experience the Orange County Fire Authority’s Fire Rig
  • Enroll in CPR training for parents and older children
  • Fill your belly with free hotdogs and hamburgers

Join the fun and teach your children about how to be safer around the water:

May 21 from 11:00 – 3:00
Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center

Contact us for more information at 949-535-3805 or by email at

Premier Aquatic Staff

A Team You Can Trust: The Premier Staff Culture

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At Premier Aquatic Services, everything we do is built around the element of teamwork. Whether it’s performing a rescue or planning our swim curriculum, we believe we are stronger and more efficient when we work together.

When new team members join Premier, they quickly learn the importance of their role. After all, every decision they make could affect someone’s life. Because of this level of responsibility, we work hard to ensure each of our staff members receives in-depth training from the day they walk through the door, and we continue that training each week for the rest of their tenure with us.

In addition to learning the skills associated with their particular role, Premier empowers our staff members with management and leadership training and experience. We only hire individuals we know we can trust, and we believe in the potential of our teammates. Therefore, we have implemented a management training program for our staff this year. Within the management training program, our staff learns skills and techniques for:

  • Detailed facility management
  • Customer service
  • Customer retention
  • Problem solving
  • Millenial training

Join the Premier Aquatic Services Team

As we ramp up for the busiest time of the year, we are hiring reliable, positive, and dedicated individuals for a wide range of positions across Orange County. Current openings include:

  • Lifeguards
  • Swim Coaches
  • Administrative Positions
  • Summer Camp Counselors
  • CPR and Lifeguard Instructors

The entire team at Premier Aquatic Services is dedicated to our clients’ safety and well-being. If you want to make a difference our your community and expand your expertise, visit our careers page.

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

Premier Summer Swim Teams

Swim Teams: Skill Building for Older Children and Teens

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Premier Summer Swim Teams

With all of the studies about the benefits of early childhood swim lessons, we often talk about swim lessons for babies and children. However, the benefits of improving swim skills continue long after the basics are established, especially for older children in their pre-teen and teenage years.

As children develop their ability to swim the four major swim strokes and become proficient in basic swim techniques, they need new challenges and a new structure for their swim lessons. To address these growing needs, Premier Aquatic Center developed our year-round and summer swim team programs.

Premier Pre Team 1

After developing proficiency with all four competitive strokes (Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly) and deck dives, young swimmers graduate from the six stages of childhood swim lessons. Now, they join the Pre Team Program, team-style training classes that prepare children for non-competitive swim teams. In Pre Team 1, children learn to complete turns for all four strokes, as well as streamlines and breakouts. Additionally, they develop an understanding of lane etiquette.

Premier Pre Team 2

Once the skills have been established in Pre Team 1, children advance to Pre Team 2, a higher-level swim team preparation class. Here, children develop their understanding of the clock and proper starts. It’s in this stage that young swimmers begin completing a preset swim set, putting all of their skills together.

Premier Swim Teams

The Pre Team Programs are designed to prepare children for the Premier Aquatic Services Swim Team Program. With year-round and summer programs, our swim teams are based upon the philosophy that every child should have the opportunity to learn in very small groups, so each athlete can excel in the sport. Our swim team program isn’t a year-round competitive club, but we pride ourselves on building the best possible base for young developmental swimmers, so they will be years ahead of their competition if they decide to advance to a more competitive program.

Premier Aquatic Swim Lessons for Children of All Ages

For children under the age of three, Premier Aquatic Services offers Parent & Me classes that introduce babies to the water. For children who are developing their basic skills, Private Lessons and Group Learn to Swim are designed to address a child’s specific developmental level. Additionally, we welcome our adult community members to the pool with our adult swim programs, including Frogman Fitness and Aqua Zumba.

To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register your family for spring and summer classes, visit our aquatic services page. For more information on water safety, follow us on Facebook.

Preparing Your Family with an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Preparing Your Family with an Emergency Preparedness Kit

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Preparing Your Family with an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Emergencies can often happen without warning, and every family should take care to develop an overall emergency response plan. However, a key element of a family’s ability to respond to an unexpected emergency is the emergency preparedness kit they develop ahead of time.

An emergency preparedness kit, or disaster supply kit, is a collection of basic supplies necessary to sustain you and your loved ones when a disaster strikes. We live in a world where we are accustomed to convenience and instant gratification, but in the event of an earthquake, fire, tsunami, or myriad of other potential scenarios, you wouldn’t have the time to swing by the store for water and food. In the event of a true disaster, there is a very real possibility that it would take days for relief efforts to reach you.

A Basic Emergency Preparedness Kit

According to, your emergency kit should contain the food, water, and basic necessities you would need for three days, including:

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radios and flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape in case you need to build a temporary shelter
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger

Additional Emergency Supplies to Consider

In addition to the basic supplies in your emergency kit, it’s important to consider items that are unique to your family. This may include:

  • Medications – a 7-day supply
  • Extra prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Baby diapers and formula
  • Denture needs
  • Pet food and extra water
  • Cash – small bills as it may be difficult to find change
  • Important family documents – insurance policies, deeds, bank account information, and identification stored in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Change of clothing and comfortable shoes
  • Feminine hygiene products

Your Emergency Response Partners

At Premier Aquatic Services, we understand the importance of ensuring your family’s safety. Whether it’s providing CPR education for your family or keeping our community safe with lessons from The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation, our team is committed to your wellbeing.

For a full look at our Health and Safety Classes or to enroll in spring swim lessons, visit us online at

Protecting Your Facility-Professional Lifeguard Services by Premier

Protecting Your Facility: Professional Lifeguard Services by Premier

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Protecting Your Facility-Professional Lifeguard Services by Premier

Lifeguards at Premier Aquatic Services go through extensive and ongoing training to ensure they are the best-prepared guards possible. While they protect our locations, Premier lifeguards can also be contracted to protect pools across the county.

With the necessary training and skills to supervise facilities of any size, Premier Aquatic Services’ certified pool lifeguards and monitors are available to keep your community pools safe all season long.

Premier Lifeguard Training

All of the lifeguards at Premier are certified by the American Red Cross and trained in-house by Premier’s management staff. In addition to state required certification, we require all lifeguards to attend weekly in-service training, so we are sure each staff member is trained and ready to react in the case of an emergency. They are individually assessed to ensure only the best staff members will represent our company on a daily basis.

Pool Monitors Versus Lifeguards

Many community pools use pool monitors instead of certified lifeguards to watch the pool area. A pool monitor plays an important role in watching the pool deck for hazards, such as glass or dangerous behavior, but they are not trained in lifesaving techniques and they do not monitor the water.

Lifeguards have the goals of preventing injury and protecting every swimmer. They are trained to perform water rescues and administer first aid. It is important to understand the role of your lifeguard at your community pool.

Hire a Premier Lifeguard for Your Community Pool

Whether it’s a city, municipality, or community pool or a private pool at an HOA or club, Premier Aquatic Services’ lifeguards are available all season long. Your family’s safety is our top priority. If you are interested in contract lifeguard services, contact us today.

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Swim Lesson Stages

Step-by-Step: The 6 Stages of Childhood Swim Lessons at Premier Aquatic Services

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Swim Lesson Stages

At Premier Aquatic Services, we reject the sink or swim mentality of old. Each child learns to swim at his or her own pace, and in order to develop a lifelong love of the water, that natural pace should be respected and nurtured. Therefore, we developed a six-stage program for our childhood swim lessons, built around skill-oriented goals.

Simply put, each little swimmer must master specific skills before progressing on to the next level, regardless of the child’s age.

Level 1 – Jellyfish

Developed for those who are brand new to swimming, the first level of swim lessons are perfect for those who have no prior experience. In this class, children learn to hold their breath and put their faces in the water. They also develop a bond with and trust for their instructor, as they build the courage to jump from the stairs to their instructor.

Level 2 – Tadpole

Progressing from the Jellyfish stage, children in this level are already proficient in holding their breath and putting their faces in the water. Now, they begin to learn how to float, fetch toys underwater, and perform basic strokes with the help of their instructor. In this stage, they grasp rhythmic breathing and explore the freestyle stroke.

Level 3 – Minnow

To advance into the Minnow stage, children are able to float unassisted for up to five seconds, retrieve toys in four feet of water, and perform assisted back floats. Level 3 classes teach them how to float on their back without assistance, move independently from the front floating position to a back float position, and kick in streamline for 15 feet. Additionally, children further develop their freestyle stroke by beginning to learn how to side breath with assistance from the instructor.

Level 4 – Guppy

Already able to float on their backs, transition from front floats to back floats, and perform assisted side breathing, Level 4 classes progress children’s strength and technique. Here, children begin to kick in streamline on their front and back. They develop their backstroke and learn to swim freestyle with unassisted side breathing. Additionally, they start developing diving skills by performing sit dives.

Level 5 – Lionfish

Students entering the Lionfish classes are moving through the water unassisted with skill. Now, they begin to learn new techniques, including the breaststroke and butterfly kick. They also graduate from sit dives to knee dives.

Level 6 – Dolphin

The final stage before “Pre Team” levels, children finalize the development of their core swimming skills. In the Level 6 class, they become proficient at all four competitive strokes – freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Additionally, they learn to become comfortable with deck dives.

Classes for Younger and Older Students

For children under the age of three, Premier Aquatic Services offers Parent & Me classes that introduce babies to the water. For older and more skilled swimmers, Premier Aquatic Services offers Pre Team and Swim Team programs designed to continue to develop a child’s skills and prepare them for more competitive programs.

To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register your family for spring and summer classes, visit our aquatic services page. For more information on water safety, follow us on Facebook.

Caring for Your Baby- Why Premier Avoids Survival Type Swim Training Methods

Caring for Your Baby: Why Premier Avoids Survival Type Swim Training Methods

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Caring for Your Baby- Why Premier Avoids Survival Type Swim Training Methods

It’s a terrifying thing to think about – your baby falling into the water in the exact moment your attention has been redirected elsewhere. According to the CDC, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death (behind motor vehicle accidents) for children between the ages of 1 and 14.

With statistics such as that, it’s no wonder parents are searching for ways to protect their infants from drowning. Many parents are turning to survival type swim lesson programs, which may be doing more harm than good.

What is Survival Swim Training?

Simply put, survival type training, as opposed to child centered training, is a technique used to teach babies and children. It teaches the swimmer to float on his back if he suddenly finds himself emerged. To most parents, this sounds like a great skill for a child to have, and we agree. However, the techniques used to teach this skill has prompted significant controversy and, in our opinions, can cause unnecessary trauma to the child.

Ultimately, these types of lessons teach by simulating drowning scenarios with the intention that the child will learn to float on his back. For very short durations over 5-10 consecutive days, babies are continually submerged under the surface, either being released so they go under on their own or pushed under by the instructor. The instructor then manipulates the baby’s body to flip over and float, with the intention that the reaction will become a learned behavior.

Why Are Survival Type Swim Lessons Bad for My Baby?

In survival type classes, babies are repeatedly submerged underwater while their parents look on from outside the pool. Babies cry and scream, unable to understand what is happening. The concept is that over time, the babies will learn to flip themselves over and float. In the process, they inhale water, panic, and often develop a lifelong fear of water.

During these types of classes, lessons need to periodically be put on hold so babies can burp and spit-up the water and air they have inhaled. While the child screams out, parents are instructed to cheer for the baby and not offer help. After lessons conclude, babies lay on their left side for a period of time to help them get the remaining water and air out of their lungs and stomach. While babies are enrolled in survival type classes, parents are required to carefully track the child’s urination and bowel movements for signs of hyponatremia or water intoxication. Additionally, parents watch for vomiting, unusual exhaustion, coughing, and trouble breathing, which could be signs of dry drowning or secondary drowning.

Aside from what we see as physical dangers associated with survival type classes, we recognize the emotional impact classes have on babies. The trauma of survival type classes often leads to a fear of the water and distrust of swim instructors, teachers, and even the parent that watches from the side of the pool.

The Premier Aquatic Services Difference

At Premier, we understand the importance of baby swim lessons which are based on a child centered learning environment. Our early childhood swim classes are designed to teach children the five essential swimming skills every child should know while nurturing a love of the water. In our early childhood swim classes, parents are in the water with their children, providing a safe atmosphere and productive learning environment. We teach children essential lifesaving skills and develop proper swimming techniques.

Many of our older students have come to Premier with a fear of the water developed in survival type classes. They are able to turn and float, as learned in their survival type classes, but they are unable to actually swim. The certified swim instructors at Premier Aquatic Services are trained to teach students of all ages and abilities to develop skills, overcome fears, and increase their self-confidence in a fun, productive, and most importantly, loving environment. To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register family for winter and spring classes, visit our aquatic services page.

For more tips on reducing the risk of childhood drowning, visit our two-part blog series. For more information on water safety, follow us on Facebook.

The Safer 3

The Safer 3: Keeping Our Community Safe Around Water

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The Safer 3

Drowning can happen in as little as 60 seconds. According to the Orange County Fire Authority, drowning “is the leading cause of accidental injury and death in children under the age of five and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14.”

The Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation is an organization dedicated to saving lives across the nation through drowning prevention and water safety education. They have created a year-round educational campaign aimed at developing:

  • Safer Water
  • Safer Kids
  • Safer Response

Premier Aquatic Services is proud to be a partner of the Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation, and each of our team members is passionate about the Safer 3 vision: to create a world without drowning.

Safer Water

It’s easy to forget that bodies of water (and the subsequent risk associated with it) surround us all the time. Especially in Southern California where many homes have year-round access to pools and spas, it’s essential for adults to take the time to identify where there are water risks and learn how to reduce the danger. Most adults forget seemingly innocuous bodies of water, such as bathtubs.

By teaching each of our community members to install barriers, including isolation fences around backyard pools, we can reduce the chances that a child will access the water without supervision.

Safer Kids

As with everything in life, families who take the time to learn essential skills and develop action plans will be better prepared to deal with risk. In an effort to promote water safety among children and parents, the Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation advocates Safer Kids in two major ways:

  1. Stressing the importance of constant responsible supervision by adults while near a body of water.
  2. Arming children with swimming skills attained through ongoing instruction by qualified swim instructors.

All of Premier Aquatic Services’ swim classes are aimed at teaching children how to keep themselves safe in and around the water. Whether it is early childhood swim lessons or summertime swim teams, our primary concerns are safety and skill building.

Safer Response

Regardless of all the preparation and preventative measures, emergencies can happen without warning. Through the Safer Response initiative, the Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation teaches the community how to deal with emergency situations without putting themselves at unnecessary risk and unintentionally making situations worse. Some of the Safer Response water safety tips include:

  • Learning CPR and First Aid
  • Having a phone by the pool at all times
  • Maintaining rescue equipment, such as life saving rings and poles
  • Teaching all family members what to do in an emergency

Many people don’t realize that a common, instinctual reaction when faced with a water emergency is to jump in after the person who is in trouble. Safer Response works to replace those reactions with effective responses such as using rescue equipment, alerting lifeguards, and calling for help.

Consult Your Community Safer 3 Partner

Through first aid training, water safety classes, and swim lesson programs, Premier Aquatic Services is dedicated to providing our local community with the skills they need to be safer in and around the water. However, a vital component of the Safer 3 is education. The experts at Premier Aquatic Services visit schools, youth conferences, and other events to speak with children and educators about water risks, safety, and drowning prevention.

Contact us to book a Safer 3 presentation for your classroom or youth group.