FAQ's

We are always getting lots of good questions from parents, kids, and everyone interested in learning to swim. We’ve tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions for you below. If you have a question that’s not answered below, or a suggestion for other questions we should add to this page, please use our Contact Page to let us know. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

What makes Wild Child unique?

  • A Warm Water pool - 88' degrees year-round
  • Family Friendly Facilities 
  • Small Class Sizes 
  • Learning to Swim through Songs Games and Interactive Play
All lessons are taught in the City of Laguna Niguel’s WARM WATER Fit Pool, ensuring that your child is warm and happy while learning to swim. 

We use POSITIVE MOTIVATION, building self-confidence while building swim skills.

Each lesson moves at your child's pace with the long-term goal being to teach every child all four competitive swim strokes, and to build strength and endurance.

Why learn to swim?

Learning to swim is an important part of every child's development. All children will be exposed to water situations, whether it's taking a bath or shower, swimming in a pool, or enjoying a day at the beach. All children should become safe and competent swimmers. In addition to water safety, swimming is a great recreational activity that can be enjoyed by all ages.

What is a good age for kids to begin swimming lessons?

Many children begin swimming as infants. The aquatic environment provides babies with complete freedom of motion and virtual weightlessness. Repetitive motion and patterning help develop muscle strength and coordination. Infants (under one year) adapt to the water more readily than older children (age 2 or 3) so exposure to swimming at an early age through a water play class gives young children a positive experience in the water which gives them a head start on becoming a strong swimmer.

How long does it take to learn to swim?

Every child is unique and develops at their own pace. Learning to swim is a life skill that takes time and practice and depends on many things:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s willingness to learn
  • How often they come for lessons or practice outside of class
  • The child’s level of fear
  • The child’s ability to trust the instructor
  • The child’s individual personality. Some children have a cautious personality while others jump into everything without a thought!
  • The amount of time the family swims together.
  • The child’s individual body- strength- coordination – maturity level. Some children just get it while others need to practice over and over and over again.
We strongly recommend that lessons be continued year around at least one day per week to maintain skills, and to build strength and endurance. Lessons should continue until:

  • The child is a confident competent swimmer, who has a healthy respect for the water,
  • The child is comfortable in any depth of water, and can swim and breathe for extended distances.
We encourage all students to learn all four competitive strokes.

Remember this is a skill they will use their whole life, why not teach them to do it well.

Our advice is to be patient with your swimmer and offer lots of praise and encouragement.

How do I know what level to sign up for?

Since all of our lessons are taught one-on-one, Wild Child does not have swimming levels. Instructors start at whatever level your child is at and work to teach them all four competitive swim strokes and to build strength and endurance. Children under age 3 should always start with an Infant/Toddler class. Once a child is floating on their front and back unsupported, putting their head down with their face in the water and is willing to go with an instructor (usually around age 3) they can advance to a private lesson. Once a child has mastered a basic crawl stroke and backstroke, and can swim a full lap of both strokes without assistance, they can advance to Developmental Swim Team (usually around age 5 or 6).

How often should my child attend lessons?

Practice makes perfect! The more often your child swims the better swimmers they will be. For beginners, start off with two days per week. For maintaining skills swim year around one day per week.

What kinds of supplies or equipment are used in swim lessons? What is required?

Of course, you’ll want to be sure your swimmer has a well-fitted swimsuit and a towel, along with anything you typically bring along for swimming.

ALL CHILDREN AGE 3 AND UNDER (POTTY TRAINED OR NOT) ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A PLASTIC PANT WITH ELASTIC LEG AND WAISTBAND.

This is required to keep feces from entering the pool in case a child has an accident.  Even a potty trained child who is busy having fun and playing can forget that they have to use the restroom; so to prevent having to close the pool we require every child age 3 and under to wear a plastic pant. Young children who are not potty trained should wear a swim diaper and a plastic pant. Many swimsuits now build the plastic pant into the swimsuit. Reusable plastic pants with elastic legs and an elastic waist can be purchased from Wild Child for $5 or can be purchased at most supermarkets, drug stores, Walmart, Target, etc.

Here are some specific notes on other items:

  • Goggles Goggles are encouraged so that Swimmers are able to open their eyes and see. They are not swimming “blind”. They are able to see the wall which prevents accidents and they are able to focus on the skills and not have water dripping in their eyes.
  • Ear Plugs Some swimmers are sensitive to water going in the ears, especially during skills done on the back. Ear Plugs can help keep water out of your ears. Ear Plugs are only recommended for those students that are particularly sensitive to water in their ears and are not needed by most students. If you don’t have an ear mold, a putty plug is available at a pharmacy. To help them stay in, you can purchase a headband or a swim cap at a swim shop or sporting goods store.
  • Swim Shirts (Often called rash guards) are recommended for sun protection. For infants the best sun protection is a fleece pajama (yes the winter fleece PJ with feet). The PJ also acts as a wet suit keeping little ones warm and toasty.
  • Nose Plugs We do not recommend the use of nose plugs because it is important for swimmers to learn to blow bubbles out of their nose while swimming.
  • Sun Screen All of our classes are 45 minutes long taught in an outdoor pool. To prevent sunburn it is important to protect your skin with a quality waterproof sunscreen. To be effective, sunscreen should be applied, 15 to 20 minutes before getting in the water. Put sunscreen on at home before you get to the pool so that it has time to sink into the skin. Use a stick sunscreen on the face, lotions can run into eyes when they get wet which burns the eyes.

Why are your private lessons only 15 minutes long?

We structure our classes so that they are 45 minutes long. Our normal private lesson has 15 minutes of one-on –one instruction and 30 minutes of free play. Children under the age of 4 have a very short attention span, so a 15-minute lesson is perfect to maximize their attention span and get the most out of the lesson. The 30 minutes of free play allows children of different ages and abilities to play together, and learn from each other. We encourage “play group” enrollment (signing up with friends) and “family” enrollment (signing up with siblings). For older children we offer a 30- minute lesson with 15 minutes of free play.  For beginning swimmers it is much better to come to two 15-minute lessons a week rather than one 30-minute lesson a week.

Do you offer swimming lessons for infants?

Yes! You may start your child in our Infant/Toddler classes as early as 6 months old.  Earlier is better because infants are more comfortable and accepting of water. Infants don’t mind getting water in the ears or their eyes and they are comfortable laying on their backs. If you wait to start lessons at a latter age we have found that once a toddler learns to crawl they do not want to lay on their backs in back float position. Once a toddler learns to drink out of a cup, they are more likely to drink pool water during lessons. Once a toddler develops separation anxiety, they will be less tolerant of having someone other than a parent teach them. Starting lessons as an infant makes the transition to toddler easier.

The goal of the Infant/Toddler class is to teach basic swimming skills:

  • Blowing bubbles
  • Humpty Dumpty (Safety Skill)
  • Big Arms (Crawl Stroke Arms)
  • Kicking (Crawl Stroke Legs)
  • Back Floats (Head Back Tummy Up)
  • Going Under Water
A child cannot learn to swim until they are comfortable putting their head down and face in the water. Young children simply do not have the upper body strength to swim with their head out of the water. As such, it is very important to help your child become "comfortable" putting their face in the water and blowing bubbles. It is the first step in learning to swim.  

By age 3 most children that have completed the Infant/Toddler classes are ready for private lessons.

By age 3 they have the strength and coordination to swim real strokes. Those 3 year olds that have mastered the skills listed above will have the strength and coordination to finally put those skills together and will be swimming!

Do parents need to be in the water with their child?

Parents are required to be in the water with any child under age 3. Parents who wish to be in the water with older children during the play portion of their lesson are invited to do so.

Can parents stay and watch kid’s swimming lessons?

Absolutely! Parents are encouraged to remain on deck.

Parents need to be available to:

  • Assist your swimmer if they need to go to the restroom or if they have an accident.
  • Be extra eyes watching the water.
  • Applaud new skills achieved. Your applause means so much to them.
Parents should watch and give support; however, it is never appropriate for a parent to become overly involved in the lesson or to try to instruct. That’s what you’ve hired us for! We know that having you close by gives your children a sense of security. Sometimes for the very young, timid swimmer we will have the parent come and sit by the edge of the pool with the child near them. The child can watch the teacher interact with the other students and see that this is a safe place. They will quickly join in.

What should I do if my child cries during the lesson?

It is quite natural for a child to be afraid of swimming lessons until they get familiar with the pool and the program. That is why Wild Child has a very structured routine for the infants and toddlers. Following a set routine means that they know what to expect so they can relax and enjoy the experience. Because we use songs and games and interactive play to teach, most children see swimming as fun and it is rare for children to continue crying after the first class.

Suggestions for Parents on how to deal with a crying child:

- Give your child to the instructor.

Walk your child out on deck and hand him/her over to the teacher. By handing your child over to the teacher, you are telling your child that you trust the teacher.

- Hide In The Observation Room

If your crying child continually looks at you and calls to you break eye contact. Take a phone call, or look at a magazine or book every time your child looks at you. Keep a pleasant expression on your face.

- Play with them in the water.

Come to an infant/toddler class and play with them in the water to speed the adjustment period. Don’t make this a mini lesson, just have fun and enjoy the water together.

- Praise and Encouragement

After lessons praise your child for completing a difficult and scary task. Praise will be the foundation for your child’s sense of accomplishment, and the knowledge that he or she has the ability to master a difficult task! Discontinuing lessons because a child is crying is almost guaranteed to produce a child who is fearful and unhappy in the water and it may take months or even years to convince the child that this activity is fun.

What is your swimming lesson make-up policy?

If you need to miss a lesson for any reason, you must cancel 24 hours in advance of your scheduled lesson to receive a make-up. A make-up can be scheduled using any open spot on the roster. All make-up classes must be completed in the current session and cannot be applied as a credit to future swim sessions.

What is your inclement weather policy?

The Fit Pool is heated year around. Swimming in the rain is actually fun! We only cancel lessons if there is thunder and lightening.

Can I request a specific instructor?

Yes. When you book online you wil be able to see which instructors are teaching each class and book the one you prefer.

My child has special needs? How can I notify the instructor?

On the registration form and online there is a section for “Notes.” You may list any medical conditions here. Information will be kept private and only management, your child’s instructor, and depending on the severity of the condition, lifeguards, will be notified of the information provided in your note.

What is water intoxication?

Water intoxication occurs when a person drinks so much water that the other nutrients in the body become diluted to the point that they can no longer do their jobs. This is extremely rare and usually happens in adults who enter contests to see who can drink the most water and not to children during swimming lessons. That being said, a child should never be forced to go under water more than three times in a swim session. Young children who like to go under water on their own should be watched to make sure that they do not drink to much pool water.

What is swimmers ear and what can I do to minimize swimmers ear?

Swimmers ear, however, is not a common occurrence.

Swimmers ear is a painful inflammation of the outer ear canal. If water remains in the ear canal for many hours, conditions may be conducive for the growth of bacteria. A pool with a properly maintained chemical balance will not support the growth of bacteria. The absence of bacteria in the pool goes a long way toward eliminating swimmers ear. Students should be sure that the ear canal is free of water after leaving the pool. Commercially prepared solutions of isopropyl alcohol and boric acid are available at most pharmacies and may be helpful for those whose ears do not drain readily.