Thursday, May 27, 2010

Prepare for summer; learn to swim at Aquatica

Orlando offers many water parks and all of them are a great way to beat the stifling summer heat. But for family members who aren't strong swimmers or who don't know how to swim at all, pool time isn't always an option. But now it can be -- Aquatica, Orlando's newest water park (and my personal favorite), is offering Red Cross-certified swimming lessons for children as young as 6 months old.

Children need to be enrolled 48 hours before the class begins -- June 14th is the start of level one, with more advanced lessons (level 2) beginning on June 28, with 8 half hour sessions for each level. Parents attending class with their children must have their own Aquatica Pass. Classes are $199 for the entire session; Sea World Annual Pass holders get $100 off that price.

While Aquatica swim lessons are best for people on long Orlando vacations or locals who love the parks, there are plenty of basic water safety tips you can follow to beat the heat without worry.

• Never, ever let kids use pools or slides without supervision. All the water parks have lifeguards and employees on duty, but there is no substitute for your eyes on your child. You can get swim vests for young swimmers, too, and some parks will also allow outside floatables (like "water wings" or "swimmies") -- check with the individual parks to see what they offer and what they allow.
• Read all posted signs. Check height requirements and health requirements. Follow instructions for how to ride the water slides. Be sure to pay extra attention when moving from attraction to attraction -- even shared pools may have different depths.
• Pay attention to employees and life guards. They are there to offer assistance and answer questions. But they are also there to ensure safety and, in case of am emergency, act quickly.
• Reapply sunscreen often. A bad case of sunburn or sun poisoning can ruin your entire vacation and even result in a trip to the ER.
• Hydrate! Being in the water doesn't get the water into you. It's hot out there so be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
For specific information all the Orlando area Water Parks, call the park directly so you can get your questions answered before you arrive.

Aquatica: 888-800-5447
Blizzard Beach: 407-934-7634
Coco Key: 407-351-2626
Typhoon Lagoon: 407-934-7634
Wet n Wild: 407-351-1800


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