New swim facility pools safety with fun
For most kids, learning to swim is fun, but it's also a potentially life-saving endeavor.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of injury and death among children between the ages of 1 and 4. The CDC also states that drowning is a leading cause of unintentional death worldwide and the highest rates are among kids.
"It's important to teach children to not only love the water, but also respect it," says Kristi Kramp, who recently started Splash Swim and Wellness in Mequon. "In our swim program we are teaching the children to swim; however, we are also focusing on safety skills that might one day help save their lives."
Splash opened ahead of schedule last month and started offering lessons on Friday, March 1. Lessons are available all year 'round.
Kramp opened Splash with friend and business partner Kimberly Metz, whose husband is in the Army. The two stayed in touch while Metz and her family were stationed out of state for a few years.
"She's been wanting to move back to the Milwaukee area and her husband is planning on retiring this year. After thinking about 'what's next' in life, Kimberly approached me a few months ago with an idea of purchasing a preexisting building that had a pool and asked if I wanted to join her in opening a swim and wellness facility," says Kramp.
"With the support of my husband and family I decided to do what I love each day and turn it into our own business."
Kramp is a certified pool operator and lifeguard and is CPR / First Aid /AED certified. She has been teaching swimming since she was in college, during which time she taught part-time. After graduation, she continued working, operating and managing swim schools for more than 10 years.
"I have a passion for teaching early child students to swim for the first time and develop their skills," she says.
Metz has been managing, instructing, coaching and lifeguarding for over
eight years. She is also a certified pool operator, USA Swimming Coach and
Official, CPR / First Aid/ AED certified as well as a member of USA Swimming and American Swim Coaches Association.
All of Splash's instructors are lifeguard certified as well as CPR / First Aid/ AED certified and go through a rigorous teacher training process.
Splash was founded, in part, to prevent drownings, but also in an attempt to combat the problem of obesity which is prevalent in both kids and adults in this country. According to the CDC, more than one-third of the adults in the United States are obese.
Splash offers small group swimming classes with four people per class. The facility also offers water fitness memberships, specialty classes including yoga, pilates and boot camps and competitive swim, one-hour classes that prepare swimmers for a club league.
A seven-week session is $126 and includes unlimited open swimming. Current clients also receive free open swim for their family while registered in the program. Private, semi-private, adult refinement and special needs lessons are also available.
The facility is also outfitted with a chair lift and is available for rehab / therapy rental.
Splash offers birthday parties on Saturdays that include private use of the facility and open swim. Summer camps and baby swim clinics for children ages six months to 2 years and their caregivers are also available.
The pool is filled with warm, 90-degree water.
"Our goal is to start teaching the correct technique, and correct terms for swimming right away at any and all ages," says Kramp. "This way they can grow within our program and if they choose to do a competitive swim team later they will be prepared."
Kramp says she's often asked if it's worth paying for lessons for kids 2 years old or younger. She says the Splash program allows them to excel and learn a sport at an early age.
She says in seven weeks she's taught 2-year-olds who came in afraid of the water to swim independently for five feet. As well as three-year-olds to swim 20 feet and roll over on their backs for a breath and 4-year-olds to swim 50 feet using a side breath.
"We are teaching children to swim before they can even walk or sign up for
kindergarten," says Kramp. "It's such an important skill. No one is ever too young or too old to learn how to swim, but it's important to find the right program that fits the needs of that person."
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