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 On Deck

Swimming is the best way to cool off in the summer, but make sure your pool area is safe and fun. Click the link to see more information about what to have on deck, and how to keep safe this pool season.

Playing outside is what summer is all about, but follow this advice to make sure you don’t get overheated.

Whether it is your cottage or a friends nothing beats time away from the city, remember to do these few simple things in order to have a relaxing weekend away.

If you have a child that is uncomfortable in the water, here are some of our tips on how to make swimming lessons a positive experience.

One of the most important things to make sure your child is wearing in the summer is sunscreen, click the link to see how to use properly.

Here is a quick rundown of CPR steps for students to refer back to.

Here is what we recommend/what you need to bring to your first class, and the subsequent lessons.

While these items look similar they do have different functions, read more here to learn more about them and choose the right option for you.

Ice can be fun to play on, but make sure it is thick enough to support everyone’s weight, and know what to do incase someone falls through.

Here is a list of things that would be better left at home for swimming lessons.

This day is super important for kids as they learn in a safe environment just how difficult it is to swim with the extra weight of clothes on.

We talk about it in the winter, but what does it actually mean?

Anchor 1

How To Get Your Pool Summer Ready 

Some items to have on deck (but not limited to) are a life ring/torpedo with rope attached, a shepherds hook, some chairs for adults to sit on while kids swim (even if children know how to swim, parents should always been outside), noodles and floaties and lifejackets, rope to mark off the divide between shallow and deep water.


If you are having a pool party, it is vital to have a specific person watching the pool. If all parents assume that others are watching their kids, this is when drowning’s can occur. When one or two people are always watching the pool area there are less chances for accidents to occur. You can also hire a lifeguard to be responsible for the area. 


Remember when swimming outside to put on sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to entering the water. If you do not give it time to sink in it will immediately wash off in the water.

Heat Exposure

 If you are going outside for expended periods of time make sure you are covering up, applying and reapplying sunscreen, and drinking plenty of fluids. Water is the best to drink throughout the day, for a little pick me up have some juice or Gatorade to rehydrate, but make sure to not drink caffeine. If you start to feel faint, tell the person you are with, and go into the shade or back indoors.


How to be Safe at the Cottage

Have children always wear lifejackets when they are around the dock. When swimming, keep an eye on the current so as to not drift. A lot of lakes will have quite a steep drop-off after a few meters so make sure to mark where that is so children and adults can know where they can and cannot touch the bottom.

If you are boating, all people on board should wear lifejackets, and bring a spare just incase. Children should know that they have to remain seated while on any type of boat, and know what to do should the boat tip or if they fall over. Some other things to have on board with you are a whistle, rope, a radio (always check the weather before setting off to avoid being caught in any bad weather), a bucket, and if it is a powerboat make sure to bring oars incase of malfunction.

Tips for Young Children

We recommend working swimming into your child’s routine. If they are under 3 do not book lessons during their regular naptime, or a time when they will be tired. Choose a time where they are the most active so their lesson will be a positive experience.


If they are hesitant around the water, bring a bath toy of their own for them to play with in the water to make swimming a familiar activity. In clean bath water practice getting their hair and face wet so it will be less of a shock when their instructor plays with them in the water.

What to Bring to Class

-Any old report cards, either from previous sessions at Janet Barber Aquatics or another swim school.

-Bathing suit


-If your child has long hair please tie it up so it will not get in their way during the lesson

-Warm clothes to change into after the lesson

-For the young kids (18 months-3 years) if they are hesitant around the water, bring a bath toy of their own for them to play with in the water to make swimming a familiar activity.

What to bring

What NOT to Bring to Class

What NOT

-Goggles are a great asset for swimming however when learning to swim they can become a safety blanket. Learning how to open one’s eyes under water or clear them after submersion is a lifesaving asset that all kids should learn while in the safety of their lesson. Before coming to lessons, run a bath and have your child practice opening their eyes in the clean water. This will better prepare them for when instructors ask them to attempt it at the pool.

-Floatation devices of your own, at our pools we have many toys and floaties to play with and use.

-Watches and jewelry, these items can get in the way of swimming and can distract young ones from the task at hand

-Please to not bring any glass on deck, and if your child needs a snack after swimming have them eat it outside of the pool area

-please do not use or bring metal bobby pins for your Childs hair


SPF 30 or more should be used and applied 30 minutes before. Sunscreen needs time to sink into your skin to be affective. Whether you are running around outside or swimming sunscreen wears off after time and so it should be reapplied every 80 minutes to dry skin.


Lifejackets v. PFD

Every child could drown in a lifejacket, we have a lesson where we put children in lifejackets so they know how to move around and orient themselves in the water.

     A lifejacket will turn a person from their front onto their back to allow them to breathe, whereas a PFD (personal floatation device) only gives a person buoyancy. For young children a lifejacket would be a better option incase of an accident


Want to learn more about CPR and First Aid?

Link to CPR and First Aid classes offered by Red Cross:

Ice Safety


You should never skate or walk on ice that you do not know the thickness of. The city will put up signs saying whether or not the water is frozen enough, so make sure to check for those signs before going out on open water.

               If someone was to fall through the ice- approach them by crawling on your tummy, and hand them some rope (anything that you can reach with). Then slowly pull them out and crawl back to land together. As soon as you can, get them out of the wet clothing and into dry ones. You can also run a bath with lukewarm water to slowly help them to reheat. And give them lukewarm beverages to drink.

               Do NOT give the person hot beverages or submerge them in hot water as this will send their body into shock.

What is hypothermia?


It is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Infants and older people are at a higher risk.

 It is caused by prolonged exposure to the extreme cold (air or water). A person with mild hypothermia will be shivering, have low energy, be dizzy, and decreased coordination. A person with severe hypothermia will be confused, very dizzy, slurred speech, bluing of the lips and fingers.

For hypothermia it is important to call 9-1-1 so they can help to safely warm the person. While waiting, if possible, add warmer dry clothing, give lukewarm fluids.

Swim with clothes

Swim With Your Clothes On Day

This day if a fun and safe way for children to experience what it is like to swim with a shirt, pants, and shoes on. It is a lot harder to mover around in the water as clothe hold a lot water making them very heavy. Doing this at the pool gives them the skills to know how to swim with extra weight should they ever fall into water.

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