Submersion Policy

Shirley Pool believe in creating a happy and positive aquatic environment for babies and young children to learn and enjoy their water experiences.  Therefore NO CHILD should be forced to submerge. 

If at any time during the cue to submerge a child shows unhappiness their wishes are respected and the activity should be stopped.  Teachers then encourage parents to do above water conditioning and play until the baby shows signs of readiness again.

Teachers follow our carefully designed programme to go from Conditioning a baby with above water practices and cue words in preparation and readiness for submersions, through to advanced submersions for a baby or toddler. 

Shirley pool policy for baby and toddler submersions, follows the recommendations of the Swimming Teacher Associations (STA) guidelines on frequency, age and amount of submersions and depth, per lessons.

The frequency of intentional submersions should be based on the individual baby’s ages, physical ability and experience.  

The number of submersions should be built up progressively at the baby’s pace in lessons, with one new submersion per lesson. 

Amount per lesson:

6 weeks – 6 months – build up to 6 submersions.

6 months – 12 months – build up to 12 submersions.

12 months + – no upper limit on amount.

Time in water:

Under 12 months – building to 3 seconds

Over 12 months – building up to 5-7 seconds 

Depth of Submersion:

Under 12 months should be submerged to a depth NO greater than 1 metre. 

Babies and toddlers over 12 months can progressively build up to a maximum submersion depth of 1.5 metres. 


These submersions allow for (don’t include) accidental submersions – Teachers should warn parents that this will happen from time to time and its okay.  Remind them there reaction should be to calmly collect their baby up and wipe them off in a relaxed manner.  Trying not to show panic to their baby.  

6 weeks– 6 Months lessons – Parents are advised to tip babies to the side to clear water from ears, and pat babies on the back immediately after submerging to prevent hard tummy.