Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels has offered swimming lessons for many years. We spoke to Sarhece Serna, the director of our SchlitterSwim program, and got the basics on poolside rules for kids to follow, and for adults to keep in mind:


  1. Walking is fun, never run. Kids get really excited about swimming and want to run everywhere. Walking is much better for wet surfaces, like pool sides. (and waterparks.)
  2. Adults have to say a swim is okay. Kids need to know to always ask permission before entering the water. Even strong swimmers need supervision. Having adults that are Ottawa C2C First Aid Aquatics facility CPR trained is also advised.
  3. Two in the pool, is always cool. You have heard of the “buddy system.” For water safety it’s important to tell an adult and have a buddy in the water.
  4. Easy rule, don’t dive in the pool. Most pools are not made for diving anymore. Unless a pool is specifically made for diving, it is best NOT to dive in.
  5. Raise your head above the water line, and you will be just fine. Remind your new swimmer to come up for air.
  6. Swimmers all, hold onto the wall. For new and weak swimmers, if you cannot touch the bottom of the pool, it helps to stay near a wall.
  7. Move smart if something falls in, call an adult or a lifeguard, but never jump in. This is a hard one, it is in everyone’s nature to chase after the ball or phone or toy that has fallen in the water. But it’s not worth the risk – kids, call an adult to retrieve it.
  8. Always obey what the lifeguards and adults have to say. This is important all of the time!
  9. Remember it’s cool to wear your life-jacket in the water or pool. At lessons, while working with individual students, weak swimmers may not wear life jackets because they are learning to swim without that help. However in a fun environment, life-jackets are essential for the safety of new swimmers.
  10. Time to get out if lightning’s about. It is best to get under cover of a building (not a tree) and out of the water during a lightening storm.

You can learn more about water safety from our charitable partner Colin’s Hope!