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The Gorgones & Mages, has a valid operating license and therefore the adequacy of facilities and quality of our services, is approved by the relevant authorities.
Large changing rooms (individual cabins) right next to the pool, with plenty of hot water and all the necessary items for a comfortable and safe bath after class (benches, baby seats, hairdryers etc).
A kitchen with all the equipment you may need for the preparation or conservation of your baby's meal, as well as baby seats are at your disposal, because babies are usually hungry the minute they come out of the pool.
The water temperature depends on the duration of the lesson. If you search the internet you will find various numbers and you may wonder which one is right. The proposed water temperatures internationally for baby swimming lessons range between 30-33 degrees Celsius. The truth is that a lesson which lasts 20 minutes, can take place in a pool of 30 degrees. For our courses that last 40 minutes, the water temperature is set to the ideal value of 33 degrees Celsius.
The depth of the pool should be between 1 to 1.20 meters, so that parents can step with safety on the whole area, without bending or having to perform the exercises in an uncomfortable position. Our pool’s depth is 1.10 meters.
As it is explicitly mentioned in the law, a pool should have a safety corridor of 1.50 m width all around its perimeter, in order to receive an operating license. This corridor must be free of obstacles, because in case of emergency, any point inside the pool should be accessible, without having to cross through the water.
The only equipment needed is a special disposable diaper or baby swimsuit, that can be purchased from children's clothing stores or from us.
The adult who accompanies the child needs a common swimsuit and a short-sleeved cotton shirt that will wear in the pool. Towels and flip flops would also be useful.
The most common frequency for baby swimming lessons is twice a week. Concerning the duration, a lesson of 40 minutes brings amazing results to infants without tiring or boring them.
There are not many facilities in Greece, made exclusively for baby swimming. Therefore, the size of the pool is the factor that determines the number of children participating in a group. Ideally, an effective number is 7 children per class. More than 7 could cause displeasure. On the other hand, less than 7 could slower the desired results, because at this age other babies act as a mirror and help one another, to imitate and improve themselves.
In our country there are two perspectives on baby swimming. According to the first one, babies simply get into the pool, play, have fun and become familiar to water, without performing an exercise program. According to the second, which is the most widespread internationally, baby swimming teachers are developing specific reflexes that the babies preserve from the period that they lived in an aquatic environment, inside their mothers uterus. Those reflexes will last for about 12 months. Through the proper series of exercises though, they can be turned to willing, conscious movements and our babies will learn to float, an achievement very important for their self protection and their safety. Of course, older children as well, will learn to swim in a short time with the right guidance, as long as they attend their lessons normally.
Because, as a baby grows, its brain matures and training must be practiced differently. There is a series of exercises that is very effective for newborn babies, another series for babies among 14 – 30 months old and of course, a different one for older children.
This depends on the age that you start baby swimming lessons, the educational program you will follow and the frequency of the lessons. In Gorgones kai Mages, the training system has been developed through 15 years of experience and continuous education. Our teachers are University graduates and certified lifeguards. Furthermore, they have been trained in our training system, by the head of our educational program, Giouli Thanou - Bizirgianni. Our babies therefore, need 1 to 1.5 year in order to become able to float independently. As for the children who come to our baby swimming center from 2.5 years old, they will need about 2-6 months.
The participation of parents in the course is decisive for the quick results! As the baby is in the arms of mom or dad, feels comfortable and safe. This way, we gain all the time we would have to spend until we overcome stress and insecurity that infants would normally feel until they were adapted to the new environment.
When a baby wears lifesaving appliances adjusted to the body, it naturally stops trying to swim, because it can float without having to make an effort. Therefore, it is much more effective to use different accessories such as swimming noodles, floating boards etc. On top of that, the use of life saving jackets or flotation belts can be dangerous, because babies don’t have enough strength to overcome the buoyancy of such life saving equipment. Consequently, there is a risk of drowning, because in case they turn forward and sink their heads they may not be able to turn up.
All the exercises in our courses are covered behind playing. They are called with names familiar to babies and the lessons are held with the help of the parents, in a family, friendly atmosphere, with songs, games and applauses. Babies actually feel they are playing, while in fact they are getting exercised in basic swimming techniques.
The use of these products is not helpful to the disinfection process of the pool water. In case you use them, please remember to wash them of your body (or your child’s body) using soap, during the shower prior to your entry in the pool.
Health and Safety
We need a certificate from a pediatrician for every baby that participates in our lessons and for the adults that accompany them a certificate from a cardiologist or a general doctor.
On this issue, we wish to make the following clarifications:
- The purpose of these certificates is solely the protection of the person who submits them and is asked only as a medical approval for their participation in swimming lessons. Under no circumstances they aren’t asked because they contribute to the protection of the other swimmers. This can be easily understood, because quite simply, someone who is healthy when registering will not necessarily remain healthy until the completion of the courses and of course it is not possible to renew the certificate, (which has emerged after extensive medical /microbiological examination) before every entrance in the pool. Furthermore, the swimming pools are not able to check the authenticity of these certificates, nor of course to base the hygiene of the pool water on them.
- The hygiene and the purity of the water can only be ensured by:
- The use of a modern and certified disinfection system which does not allow the presence in the water of elements that could prove harmful to people who use the pool.
- Frequent microbiological tests of water, by a certified laboratory.
We hear a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The truth is that technology is progressing fast and keeps bringing to market newer disinfection methods. The most modern one and most advanced at the moment, is salt water chlorination. This method has excellent disinfection results and is completely hypoallergenic because there is no adding of chlorine, or other chemicals, just common salt. It produces a safe and healthy environment, while at the same time leaves no annoying odors. The quality and the PH of the water, are monitored electronically 24hours per day and on the side, it is an environmentally friendly method.
When baby swimming lessons take place in a controlled and especially built for this activity pool hall, they are absolutely safe. Besides, babies enter the water in the arms of their parents, under the guidance of the trainer, who is always inside the pool and is a university graduate teacher, as well as a certificated lifeguard.
As a necessary qualification, a baby swimming trainer must be a university graduate teacher of physical education. Physical education teachers, during their four-year studies at the university, acquire significant knowledge, in issues such as swimming, student approach, anatomy, physiotherapy, first aid and lifeguarding. As a result, they are able to teach swimming to babies properly and safely, without risk to injure neither their body nor their soul. Such knowledge cannot be obtained at a seminar, or a short course of lessons. The teachers in Gorgones kai Mages are additionally trained in baby swimming by Mrs. Giouli Thanou - Bizirgianni, which is the exclusive partner of Aristotle University in this activity.
In Gorgones kai Mages, the quality and the ph of the water is monitored electronically 24 hours per day. In addition, once a week, samples of pool water are received and microbiologically analyzed by qualified and accredited laboratory*. These analyzes are posted on the bulletin board. This way, you can always be absolutely sure for the purity of the water.
* ISO 17025: This accreditation is granted by the National Council of Accreditation which is the official technical advisor of the state for accreditation maters and represents the country in international organizations responsible for these issues. It comes under the Greek organization for standardization and the ministry of development. The results produced by an accredited laboratory have legal effect and are accepted at national, European and international environment.
Your baby should not be fed for the previous two hours. We would also suggest arriving to our pool in time, in order to allow sufficient time for preparation before the start of the course.