Parent-child aquatics class helps ‘kids get used to water’

Nolan Maasen, 17 months, laughs and splashes with his dad, Cameron Maasen, during the Parent and Child Aquatics class at the Ellis Porter Park in Riverside Park.

Nolan Maasen, 17 months, laughs and splashes with his dad, Cameron Maasen, during the Parent and Child Aquatics class at the Ellis Porter Park in Riverside Park. Photo by Kelley McCall.

The air is filled with screams of delight and the smell of chlorine, but family fun in the pool is not the only exciting thing happening during Ellis Porter Pool’s Parent and Child Aquatics class.

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Disguised by an enjoyable variety of songs, games and other activities, the main purpose of the class is to “get kids used to the water,” according to Sammie Yarnell, evening lessons coordinator at Ellis Porter Pool. “It’s about getting kids comfortable in large bodies of water.”

Also referred to as the “parent and tot class,” it is for children 6 months to 3 years old.

Yarnell also said the class is especially helpful for first-time parents and “helps you know what to do with your kids in the water.”

Certified instructors teach the toddlers skills such as kicking and paddling, floating on top of the water, and entering and exiting the pool safely.

Anastasia Cisco is finishing up the current session with her 2-year-old daughter, Lauren. She said the class “helped her (Lauren) get used to the water.” Cisco said she would recommend the class to other parents and that, “Lauren doesn’t want to get out.”

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