Monthly Archives: May 2013

Target Awards Swimways 2012 Vendor of the Year in Toy and Sporting Goods Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Leading Pool Toy Manufacturer Recognized for Second Consecutive Year

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – May 22, 2013 – Swimways Corp., a leader in the pool and leisure marketplace, announced today that it has been named Vendor of the Year for the second consecutive year in the Toy and Sporting Goods Departments by top value retailer, Target® Corp. (NYSE: TGT). Known for its popular Spring Float® and water toys, including the Toypedo®, Swimways has been a Target vendor for more than 16 years and currently distributes product in Target stores nationwide.

“It is an honor to receive this award two years running,” said David Arias, president, Swimways. “While the category is highly dependent on weather, we strive to develop innovative products that

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appeal to customers year-round. We enjoy working closely with the Target team, and are grateful that they recognize our passion in bringing quality recreational products to families nationwide.”

“It is rare for a company to receive a Vendor of the Year award in this category two years in a row,” said Megan Seelye, category buyer, Target. “The award is a testament to Swimways’ dedication to Target and the Target guest. The company makes an incredible effort to work closely with our team to plan and react to sales and inventory needs, and their hard work extends beyond the summer season. We are proud to name Swimways as our 2012 Vendor of the Year.”

This is the third Target Vendor of the Year award for Swimways since 2002. Target awards vendors annually for their passion for performance and dedication to the Target brand. Swimways products under the SwimWays® and COOP® brands are sold in all Target storefronts nationwide.

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About Swimways Corp.

Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Swimways is a privately owned leisure and recreational water products manufacturer whose mission is making free time more fun through innovation. It is a company rich in traditional values and respected for the quality and integrity of its products and services. With distribution in over 50,000 storefronts, it markets three unique brands: SwimWays®, Kelsyus® and COOP®. With offices in Hong Kong and the United States, the company’s diverse staff is passionate about developing fun and engaging products for kids. They are equally passionate about making sure kids are safe in and around the water and believe learning to swim is an important life skill. Swimways has been teaching kids to swim for over 40 years — longer than anyone else (except parents, of course!). In January 2007, Swimways began donating a portion of wholesale sales of the Swim Steps™ product line to Operation Smile.. To date, the program has provided facial reconstructive surgeries to more than 4,500 kids around the world. For more information about Swimways, visit www.swimways.com.

About Target®

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,832 stores – 1,784 in the United States and 48 in Canada – and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/corporateresponsibility.

Contacts

Litzky Public Relations
Jessica Rusack | 201-222-9118 | jrusack@litzkypr.com
or
Gillian Small | 201-222-9118 | gsmall@litzkypr.com

Preventing and Overcoming Apprehension of Water

by Mario Vittone

To become a swimmer your child has to first want to be in the water. Some children develop apprehension towards swimming that can stop their progress. To overcome this apprehension of water, you have to understand why it may be there in the first place, and then work to develop trust with your child where water is involved.

Parents should know that outright fear of water (aquaphobia) – characterized by screaming, panic, and avoidance of all contact with water including baths – is a situation that requires professional help. But general unease around the pool is something that parents can address.

Most children are naturally drawn to water, but there are several ways that apprehension can creep in. A child who is uneasy around water usually has a reason. Here are some examples of situations that make early swimmers not want to even try:

Your Apprehension

“If mom

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is afraid of the water, maybe I should be, too!” Children pick up on your apprehension of water first. If you aren’t a good swimmer and it doesn’t look like you are having fun, it’s going to be hard to convince your child that they should get in there with you. Non-swimming parents need to take lessons before trying to teach their children how to swim. I’m not suggesting that you have to become a fully qualified swim instructor (though that couldn’t hurt), but at least get to a place where you are comfortable and a strong swimmer before being responsible for your child’s introduction to the water.

Early Experiences

If an adult ever told a child, “I won’t let go,” and then let go of them in the water, that child will find it harder to be trusting in the pool the next time. Early childhood experiences in the pool should be fun and easy. Your toddler doesn’t need to swim on their own or learn to float on their first (or even tenth) day in the pool. What they need is to feel secure, to have fun, and to learn to enjoy the water.

Make sure these early exposures are about fun and play and always be right there to help them and support them if they need it.

Dad and baby in the water

Baby Steps for the Babies

If your child doesn’t want you to take them out into the pool, don’t force them! Dragging them out against their will might not be the best idea. Instead, let them simply sit on the edge, or on a shallow step and play. Stay close and make the experience easy and fun.

Next, you can play games with the water. Splash and play with the water yourself first, and see if your child will mimic your behavior; splash water on your arms, and then your shoulders, and eventually on your face and head. You can use a plastic cup to pour the water on your head, showing your child that it can be fun.

As they get more comfortable, step things up and encourage them to splash you or have them pour the water on you and then themselves. These gentle and unforced interactions with you can build their trust and increase their comfort with you in the pool. Remember, there is no hurry and no need to pressure the child to go further. Just keep having fun and making the water about play, and slowly the apprehension should fade.

Stay Close and Be Supportive

Remaining within arm’s reach of your child (touch supervision) is vital for safety and also critical for trust. This is where the use of flotation devices like the Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest can really help. They can make your child feel more at ease and they are fun for kids to wear. Remember, you want the water to be about fun for your child, and the right support can help the apprehensive swimmer venture with you out into the water.

Another way you can expose your child to the world beyond the edge of the pool is to pull them through the water on a small raft or even a SwimWays Kickboard. Have them hold on as you pull them through the pool and let them enjoy the ride! If you said you wouldn’t let go, then don’t let go. Just be there with them and make the experience positive.

SwimWays Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest

It Doesn’t Have to Happen Today

Remember, there is no rush, all progress towards confidence is good, and no step is too small. Each push forward is gentle and the things they overcame earlier should be reinforced. Don’t make the work an all-day affair; end each day’s lesson on a positive note and talk about how much fun they will have the next time they swim. Tell them, “Tomorrow you can go even farther!”

A child’s apprehension around water can definitely slow progress when learning to swim, but it can be overcome with a gentle and unforced introduction to all the fun that can be had in the pool. You don’t need to be overly concerned or put pressure on them. Just develop their trust as you help them experience water in a way that is fun and makes them look forward to trying again tomorrow.

Mario Vittone - Water Safety Expert

Mario Vittone is a nationally recognized expert on water safety. His writing on aquatic risk and drowning prevention has appeared in magazines, websites, and newspapers around the world. Mario is a former Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer and instructor and has lectured on boating and water safety across the United States. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation.
Mario’s Blog | Facebook Page

SwimWays Memorial Day Sale – Ends 5.28.2013

If you haven’t seen the announcement yet

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– the SwimWays.com Memorial Day Sale is well underway – Stock up and get ready for hours of pool fun! Get your little one some learn to swim gear, or grab something for yourself! Sale ends May 28, 2013.

SwimWays Memorial Day Sale