SAN DIEGO — More are making a splash and are pumped to get in the water.
"First day, we have been looking forward to it all year,” said parent Emerald Rose.
Rose says her 9-month-old baby girl Elsie loved the class.
"With a pandemic we have not seen a whole lot of other babies, I wanted her to get that exposure and be comfortable in the water,” Rose said.
Rose says it is even better that the Allied Gardens Pool has been open since the end of June and is close by. Thirteen pairs took part in this "Parents and Tots Swim" lesson. It is one of the first classes offered since the pandemic began.
"We got lessons, lap swim, recreational swim, all sorts of programs while last year this time, we only had four pools open now all of our city pools are in operation,” said Sinthya Carranza, the city’s supervising recreation specialist for Southern swimming pools.
In the parents and toddlers class, the group learned all the basics for children 6 years old and under. It served as the ultimate pool introductory class that Carranza says many missed out on due to pandemic pool closures.
"A year without swim lessons was a little nerve-racking for us knowing how crucial that first swim lesson is and a lot of kids missed out on it,” Carranza said.
Experiencing their child's first plunge had some on edge in the beginning.
"It was wonderful, it was his first time but he does not cry and he loves it. It is so fun, the kids, they play and some of them, they cry, but they enjoyed it,” said parent Selamawt Tessema with her 2-year-old swimming son Matthew Goiytom.
Beyond the kids' 8-session, 40-minute classes for a fee, the city pool is open to all ages for a just a few dollars to use.
"It's taking a little bit, but people are coming around as a few of the restrictions have been lifted,” Carranza said.
Each person is health screened before entering. No masks are required. Also, there has not been a chlorine shortage, but they are looking to hire more lifeguards.
Some city pools open as early as 7 a.m. and close as late as 7 p.m. Here's the city's list of open pools.
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