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Swimming safety lessons for kids

Summer is synonymous with swimming. And when children swim, the biggest concern of parents is their safety. These swimming schools offer children the skills they need to survive a potential tragedy.

SAF-T-SWIM : Suffolk locations include Bohemia, Commack, Coram, Deer Park, Riverhead and Smithtown. Nassau locales include East Meadow and Westbury, 866-SAFE-SWIM,

"The main reason Saf-T-Swim exists is to teach water safety," says MaryEllen Mosomillo, district manager. "It's about saving lives and reducing the countless number of needless drownings each year. They're taught the skills they need to save themselves if they fall into the water. At some point, we actually have the child go in fully dressed." There are individual, semiprivate and group swim lessons, as well as mommy-and-me classes.

Sessions and cost: Every session is six half-hour lessons. "It's like when you put a child into karate or dance. The teaching is ongoing and they reach different levels," Mosomillo says. First-time registrants currently receive 20 percent off. Suffolk is $215 a session per child and Nassau is $235 a session per child. Packages may lower prices.

SWIMVANTAGE : P.O. Box 1445, Lake Grove, 631-357-0322,

Instructors drive to your backyard pool or your community pool in an effort to make lessons most convenient. "It's also more comfortable for the swimmers to learn in their own environment," says owner Marina Montes. There are one-on-one, semiprivate and group lessons from babies through teens. SwimVantage serves from the Hamptons to Nassau County. This is the company's fourth summer in business. All instructors are American Red Cross certified in lifeguarding and first aid, Montes says.

Sessions and cost: Each session consists of five 30-minute individual or 45-minute semiprivate or group lessons. Cost is $225 per swimmer for private lessons, $175 per swimmer for semiprivate (two swimmers), and $135 per swimmer for a group of three and $115 for four.

SWIM AND SCUBA : 490 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre, 516-872-4571,

Lessons at its heated indoor pool. "We stick to the American Red Cross standards," says Stephen Scigliano, owner. No. 1 is getting the children water safe, which includes jumping into the pool, floating on their backs and getting to the wall safely, he says.

Sessions and costs: Sessions are a half-hour a week for six weeks on a fixed schedule. Next session begins July 6 to Aug. 16. Private, $300; semiprivate, $220 a person; and groups of three, $180 a person.

ALL PRO SWIM CENTER : 737 Smithtown Bypass, Smithtown, 631-979-5300

Indoor facility offers one-on-one, semiprivate, group lessons, and swim camp. All Pro caters to special-needs children as well, such as children with autism or physical handicaps, says Paul Pizzuto, owner.

Sessions and costs: Six 30-minute private lessons are $175; semiprivate (two children) is $150 per swimmer; group lessons (four children) are $120 per child. Swim camp is eight one-hour classes of 10 children with three instructors for $125 per swimmer. Special- needs children are integrated into the classes. Rolling enrollment.


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