Keeping Your Child Safe Around Water

Keeping Your Child Safe Around Water

Teaching Your Child To Swim Safely

Having a child that can swim safely helps to greatly reduce the risk of drowning and takes a lot of worries away from your life as a parent. And while learning to swim can be exciting and fun for a child, it can be a stressful anxiety-driven experience for parents. So just how can you introduce your child to the water in a fun, but safe way? Let’s take a closer look:

Invest in formal lessons

When teaching a child to swim, its important to invest informal lessons. Accredited teachers will have all the necessary safety protocols in place and follow strict guidelines enforced upon them by the local authorities. Good swim schools will have firm safety rules in place which they go over with children and their parents before each lesson. These rules provide a solid grounding for understanding the dangers of water and reinforcing in children when they should or shouldn’t approach the water.

Start off young

While babies can go into the water from birth, they can’t regulate their body temperature yet so tend to get cold very quickly. Babies can be introduced to the water from as young as four months old, but most swimming instructors prefer to take them from the age of six months. At this age, they will also be more resilient to any infections that they could pick up in the pool.

Prior to this, you can start to introduce water to your child by pouring a small warm cup of water over their head during bath time. This will get your child used to the feeling of water over their face. This experience should always be done in a calm and positive manner. If your child responds negatively then it is best to give it a rest as you could end up creating a phobia in your child.

Make water fun

One of the hampers to teaching your kid to swim can actually be your child. Some children are afraid of water, scared of the teacher, or simply don’t want to swim. If this is the case, it's important to make water fun. Start off slow, just allowing your child to dip their toes in the water when visiting a park, or have the water run over their head, before introducing their whole body to the pool. You can also make bath time a fun environment through the introduction of toys and bubbles. Perhaps you can even let your children were their goggles and armbands in the bath or the shower? Getting a child more familiar with water will help make the learning to swim process easier and more manageable.

Children should always be encouraged to splash in the pool as this also helps them get used to the resistance of water, however, this too needs to be done in a controlled manner so that you do not confuse distress with having fun. It’s also a good idea not to waste too much water, as this can lead to bad habits.

Watch them at all times

Children are very curious and can end up putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations unknowingly. Kids should always be watched around water, even shallow rivers and streams could lead to drowning. Rather keep them inside when you want to find out more about having fun without any risks.  At home, pool covers are a good investment, as are fences that keep your kids away from the pool in the first place.

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