Sunday, April 14, 2013

When should my child start swim lessons?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting on formal swimming lessons until children are at least 4 years old, when they are thought to be developmentally ready.  Research studies have show that, children who learn to swim at age 2, 3 or 4 learned to swim well at approximately the same mean age of 5 1/2 years. 

Supervised exposure to the water can be the best first step to getting young children comfortable in and around the water.  Parents are encouraged to make early exposure to the water a positive experience. Parents should stay within an arm's reach or be able to touch the swimmer at all times while in the water.  Be patient and encouraging, but persistent when teaching children to get their face and eyes wet.  Use incentives to keep them motivated during difficult moments and demonstrate skills by getting your face and head wet.  It’s recommended that the use of goggles and floaties are limited when children are learning to swim.  These devices can present a false sense of security for children and can affect their confidence when not available. 

If you’re interested in taking the next steps to enroll your child in swim lessons, be sure to find a program that fits your individual needs.  Keep in mind that these types of programs do not decrease your child's risk of drowning and are not a substitute for adult supervision and safety in the water.  Like learning to play a musical instrument, swimming is a skill that requires significant development, coaching and practice.  It is recommended that students enroll in two or more swim lessons per week.  Two lessons per week for 4, 8 or 12 weeks allows time for students to build rapport with the instructor, learn and practice new skills and improve technique.   

For more information about swim lessons and water safety, visit us at 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Non-Disposable Swim Diapers

Whether it’s fun in the pool or the spa, no one is safe unless your toddler or infant is wearing sung fitting, non-disposable, swim diapers.  Here are a few places online where you can find them.

If you have any questions, please contact us!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Junior Guards 2012

San Diego County junior lifeguard programs are not “learn to swim” programs. Therefore, participants are given a tryout test to determine if they have the minimum skills needed to benefit from the program. Most programs will encourage parents to work with their child(ren) on swimming skills before the beginning of the program to ensure that their child(ren) can pass the test with confidence.

Below is a list of different programs and locations. Click on any program to get more information.

·         San Diego Junior Guards
·         Carlsbad State Junior Lifeguards 
·         Del Mar Junior Guards
·         Encinitas Junior Lifeguards 
·         Solana Beach Junior Lifeguards

Get ready for any Junior Guards program!  Contact YardSwim to schedule your Junior Guards prep lessons.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Preparing Your Child for Swim Lessons.

 Tips for making swim lessons fun and successful


1.  Look for a swim program that best fits what you're looking for.  Research all the swim schools in your area and ask about their teaching philosophies and curriculum.  Find one that fits you and your family’s needs.


2.  Communicate with your instructor.  Ask lots of questions.  Talk with the instructor before and after every lesson to help create appropriate expectations.  Check in to see how your little ones are doing.  Ask if there is anything that you can do to help.


3.  Swimming is a fun activity and an important life skill. Provide lots of supervised exposure to water.  Students who excel quickly in aquatics are ones that have access to a great deal of swimming and aquatic related activities.  Sometimes you have to let the water be the coach.


4.  Be patient.  Learning to be a strong and safe swimmer takes time and is a lifetime endeavor so you've got plenty of time to work on it.  Don’t be surprised if the first few lessons are a bit difficult.  Practice swimming outside the lessons if it is alright with the instructor.


5.  Keep children enthusiastic about swimming.  Swimming should be fun, not work.  If it starts to feel like work then children will usually become disinterested.  If they start to dislike swimming lessons, you can try to use incentives to encourage children to stay motivated and involved. Don't give up!  Your children may not want to stay enrolled but if given time to adjust to the lessons, they will most likely learn to love it.


6.  Don't put pressure on your children to do well.   The learning environment should be open, positive, and rewarding.  Pressure to perform a certain way could cause the student to dislike the lessons and this could cause a delay in the student’s swim progress.


For more information, please contact us at

Thursday, January 5, 2012

3 Ways To Keep Your Pool Clean and Healthy

In order to be safe your pool needs to be clean and sanitized.  Chlorine is the most common way to sanitize your pool but there are other options.  The information below will discuss chlorine and the other options and provide you with some links for more information.

 3 ways to keep your pool sanitized.

  1. Chlorine:  Chlorine tabs dissolve slowly over time and keep chlorine in the pool water.  This chlorine bonds with organic material to kill it and prevent the build up of algae.  The main byproducts of this chemical reaction are chloramines which can be bothersome to swimmers.  You need about 3 – 5 ppm of chlorine in the water to keep these pools properly sanitized depending on bather load.

  1. Salt:  Salt chlorination systems us salt to produce chlorine naturally.  You need about 3 – 5 ppm of chlorine to keep these pools properly sanitized depending on your bather load.  The major benefit of salt systems is that you can have chlorine in your pool without the chloramines.  Chloramines are the main byproduct from the addition of chlorine.

  1. Ozone:   Ozone generators can sanitize pool water with absolutely no harmful byproducts. You still need some chlorine in the water (about 1 ppm of chlorine) This is minimal compared to the other 2 forms of pool sanitation.  Check out these ozone generator benefits.

There is one negative to ozone generators, they can be costly.  They are not only costly to buy but also to maintain.  About every year, it will cost about $200 - $400 to recharge certain ozone generators and replace the degraded tubing and lights.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

When to drain your pool?

I have many pool clients that are wondering if they should drain and refill their pool.  In order to find out if your pool should be drained, simply answer the following  three questions.

#1.  Is your pool water brown, green, or cloudy? 

Brown or green water means yes, you should drain your pool.  Pool water should be clear and if it has already gotten so bad as to change color, the only way to safely correct the problem is to drain and refill your pool with new water. Caution:  If pool water is not clear and you can’t see through to the bottom in any part of the pool, it is not safe to swim in.

Cloudy water could be due to a number of problems so draining the pool might not be necessary.  Check the following.
  • Check to see if the filter is clean
  • Test the water for the following
    • TDS (total dissolved solids)  Should be no higher than 4000 ppm.
    • CYA (cyanuric acid)  Should be no higher than 100 ppm.
    • CaCO3 (Calcium Hardness)  Should be no higher than 800 ppm.

#2.  Is your pool water old?

A residential pool should be drained about every 2 years but most pool owners drain their pools every 3-5 years.  Old pool water can be difficult chemically balance.  If the water is not properly balanced then there can be build up in and around the pool.  Imbalanced pool water can also do damage to the pool plaster or equipment.

Test the following to find out if your pool water is old.
  • TDS (total dissolved solids)  Should be no higher than 4000 ppm.
  • CYA (cyanuric acid)  Should be no higher than 100 ppm.
  • CaCO3 (Calcium Hardness)  Should be no higher than 800 ppm.

If you do not have the proper water testing equipment, you can take a sample of your pool water to any pool supply store to have it tested.

#3.  Is your pool plaster or pool equipment changing color or developing build up?

Pool plaster discoloration or pool equipment degradation could be due to the following.
  • Age of plaster and equipment.  Over time pool plaster can change color and develop bumps and craters regardless of perfectly maintained water chemistry. 
  • Improper application or installation of plaster and equipment.  Occasionally, pool plaster and equipment can become damaged or change color showing staining due to improper installation.  If the pool builders do not apply materials correctly then premature imperfections and equipment failure could be possible.
  • Improper pool water chemistry.  If the pool maintenance service provider is not managing  pool water chemistry  properly then it is very possible to begin seeing premature degradation of pool plaster and equipment.  Make sure that your chlorine,  pH, and total alkalinity levels are all at appropriate ranges.
    • Chlorine (1ppm – 5ppm) Ideal Range
    • pH (7.4 – 7.8) Ideal Range
    • Total Alkalinity (80ppm-140ppm) Ideal Range

For more information about having your pool drained please contact YardSwim

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pool Vacuum Cleaner Analysis

Here is a breakdown of the different automatic vacuum cleaners that I see in pools.

This first vacuum is kind of expensive but works very well.  This is also the most common one that I see.  It is a Hayward Pool Vac Ultra.  It can cost between $450 and $550.  This vacuum works very well even with lots of heavy debris like sticks and leaves.  It will climb the pool walls and last for a very long time, 5-7 years with proper maintenance. 
Hayward Pool Vac Ultra
The Hayward Navigator is the slightly less expensive version which is more like $400-$500.

Hayward Navigator
Both designs are likely to need a $150 maintenance service after 2-4 years of use depending on proper maintenance and water balance.

The Zodiac G3 is another very popular vacuum although I never see it working very well. Every pool that has a G3, still needs to be vacuumed when I get there.  The Hayward designs can keep pools literally spotless where as this G3 can run for 8-12 hours and I will still need to spot vacuum pool corners and shallow end areas.  The G3 is slightly cheaper at anywhere from $350-$450.
Zodiac G3
Maintenance with the G3 usually involves replacing the skirt every 1-3 years.  The skirt replacement can cost about $60.

This is the cheapest vacuum that I have seen in a pool.  It works OK but again, I feel as though this design is not the best for automatically cleaning pools.  The EZ Vac is super cheap though, about $100.
EZ Vac
Please contact YardSwim if you have any questions.