When you have a child, one of the most important things you can do to ensure their safety is to make sure he or she knows basic rules of water safety, how to swim, and what to do if he or she gets into trouble in any body of water.
Here are some quick pointers to help you teach a child to swim.
When Should You Start?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children start swim lessons at the age of four. Starting swim lessons any earlier than that does not necessarily mean your child will be a proficient swimmer any sooner, but it does give them a leg up with comfort in the water.
There are many swim programs for parents and babies that teach water safety skills not just to the child, but to the parent as well.
It is never to early to teach water safety to children. If you have a pool at your home, ensure that children who are starting to crawl cannot accidentally crawl to the pool’s edge and fall in. Having a gate with a child proof lock is essential to pool safety. There are many people who believe in teaching children as young as six months to “roll and float” if they fall into a swimming pool or other body of water.
Parents should know to never have young children out of arm’s reach when near the water. Additionally, it’s important that you make sure to empty out all buckets, kiddie pools, or water tables after use. As soon as children can understand, make sure they know they are not supposed to be in a pool or other water without adult supervision.
Tips to Teach
Swim lessons are a wonderful way to teach your kids to swim, but if you are an efficient swimmer yourself, you might want to teach your children yourself or supplement professional lessons with at home lessons.
Here are a few tips to successful swim lessons with your child
Teaching a Child to Swim Tip #1: Keep the Lessons Short
Most kids don’t have astounding attention spans for anything their parents want to discuss with them. Don’t set your expectations too high. Professional swim lessons are often 30 minutes, so do not expect at-home swim lessons to go longer than this. Even 10-15 minutes of practicing can be beneficial for young children.
Teaching a Child to Swim Tip #2: Start with the Kick
A kickboard is a useful tool to help your child learn to kick properly; even the edge of the pool will help when they practice kicking their legs. Often, children let their legs sink in the water, forcing them to work their arms too hard to stay afloat. Knowing how to kick is the first step to learning the proper freestyle stroke.
Teaching a Child to Swim Tip #3: Help Them Feel Secure
Many children, regardless of their age, fear the water. They might even start out not being afraid of the water and develop a fear after an incident in the water— or for no apparent reason at all. Always stay calm while you’re in the water with your child. Speak to your child using reassuring words and make sure they know you won’t leave them. Let them hang on to you if they find that comforting.
Proper Swim Gear
With summer almost upon us, swim lessons will be gearing up all around the country. If you plan on supplementing swim lessons at home, having the right gear can be a huge benefit. Here are some of the swim accessories you might invest in:
If you are looking to stock up on swim gear for the summer, Born to Swim has all the gear and accessories you need to successfully teach your kids to swim. Visit our website to see more of our colorful gear made by swimmers for swimmers.