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Idea Fair

Safety Mats for Swim Programs

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

Safety is a top priority, especially in Aquatics. At The Country Club of Virginia, we host group swim lessons each summer for youth 3-8 years of age. We structure our group lessons to be at a ratio of 4 children to 1 swim instructor. The youngest participants tend to be non-swimmers, meaning they need assistance from an adult when in the pool. In years past, we had the participants sit on the brick coping edge of the pool to wait their turn with the instructor. We learned that brick coping gets slippery when wet. This means that the brick was a safety hazard for our participants. Over-eager non-swimmers could easily slip into the pool while waiting their turn, so the Aquatics Department needed a plan to keep participants safe.

After some creative thinking, the adoption of safety mats came to fruition. We used our old, adult pool floats as a landing zone for our participants. We lined the floats at the end of the lane and had all of the participants wait their turn on the float. The float was a clear indicator for a waiting space and the participants were at a safe distance from the pool while the instructor was working with another child.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

Aquatics Manager, Danielle Lewandowski, wanted to try a new approach to waiting areas for the children in our group lesson program. She wanted to make sure the idea would stick so she used a retired resource (last years’ pool floats) as a test tool. The floats worked extremely well and kept the children safe during their group lessons. The members were appreciative of our efforts to keep their children safe at group lessons.

About the author

Philip Kiester

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