Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Social media is a necessary evil nowadays. It has taken up such a place in our lives that it is difficult to think of a life without social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
These are indeed wonderful platforms that offers ease of communication worldwide, while also being a great place to find a lot of information about anything under the sun.
However, there is also an evil side to it. Predators take advantage of the anonymity provided by these social media and lurk to prey on innocent victims.
Children especially are easy targets for such predators and hence as parents, you should be extra careful about who you let close to your children.
I see a lot of people put up advertisements in various social media sites looking for and providing different services. For that matter, I have also seen several people hiring swimming coaches for their children from Facebook and other social media platforms.
Now the question is:
How safe is it to hire services such as a swimming coach from Facebook?
Does such a coach have the necessary certificates and qualifications to teach children and do they have the necessary experience to handle kids in a swimming pool?
What should you keep in mind?
Here are a few tips on what to look out for when hiring a swimming coach for your children from social media platforms.
Being a swimming coach myself, the first thing that I would request you to check before hiring a coach from Facebook or any other social media platform are the medical safety courses that they have completed.
Can they identify a risky situation when imparting swimming lessons to kids? And are they equipped to take on a proper course of action, in case of an accident?
One of the most important and primary courses for any swimming coach is the CPR and first aid. Also make sure to check the validity of these courses, even if the coach has the certifications.
A coach should ideally have done the CPR and first aid course in the past two years, otherwise they must go through a refresher course before they can be hired to train children.
Certificates of Qualifications
The next thing that you should look into are the certifications of swimming qualifications. As a swimming coach I recommend the “AUTSWIM License” the most.
However, there are several other certifications available in the market which are equally good, such as the “American Swimming License”. A degree in sports or physical education should also suffice.
The third thing that you need to check is the background records of the coach, especially the police criminal records. We have a very efficient background checking tool in Malaysia called the “The Good Conduct Certificate”.
It is a great way to know whether the person you intend to hire is a good person with clean records and has a good conduct.
It is also always a good thing to check the passport and visa details of the coach in case they are foreigners to ensure that there is no reason for you to worry.
Trial Swimming Class
It would be ideal to have at least one trial swimming lesson before hiring a swim coach.
That would give you an opportunity to analyze the behavior and teaching skills of the coach. You can observe how the coach is interacting with your children and whether your children are able to understand and follow the coach’s teaching method.
Handing over your children to practically a stranger from the virtual world like Facebook without thoroughly investigating their knowledge and background is definitely not worth it because it can turn out to be risky.
You should always make it a point to thoroughly check every little detail about the coach and only if you are satisfied with everything, should you go ahead with the plans of hiring them.
Erika is a certified AUTSWIM Water Safety and Infants Swimming Teacher and also holds an American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 2 certification with over 10 years specialised experience in teaching babies and children.
She runs swim programs for babies, toddlers, kiddies and BabySelf Rescue programs at a number of locations around KL and Selangor such as Olympic Kids Club, Tropicana Golf Club and Desa Parkcity Club House to name a few.
She is a mother of 2 boys 4 and 10 years old who love water. You can contact Erika at firstname.lastname@example.org