As we move into the hottest part of the summer, we’re all looking for some kind of refuge from the heat. Cooling off in the pool is a natural choice, but for some parents of littles it might not be so easy, especially this year.
Knowing that 350 children under the age of five drown in pools each year nationwide, with the highest growth rate occurring between the ages of 1-4, we parents try to find the best swim schools and instructors to make sure our kids stay safe. As drowning is preventable it just takes being prepared. You might be one of those parents calling around your local area for lessons, but as we’ve learned over the past year and a half, Covid has made every aspect of life a little more difficult. Yes, right now with limited capacity and a shortage of swim instructors, many parents are frustrated that they have no access and there’s simply no space for their kids in the pool.
So what to do? Suit-up! It’s time to start teaching your child some swimming skills at home.
First, Teach them they need to be invited into the water.
What we see people do is just jump into a body of water, without taking a minute to recognize its depth or as with a natural stream, its strength. Water can easily overpower someone, especially a child, so we don’t want them to underestimate its power. With a pool, you don’t have to worry about the flow of water, but you want to instill respect for water by teaching your child that they have to be invited into the water.
Use the queue “1-2-3 JUMP”
By having them jump into the pool and your outstretched arms with 1- 2- 3- Jump, they learn to be patient, and not to enter without someone to bring them in.
Second, you want them to get them used to having water in their face, start with sprinkling over their shoulders and neck, then move to the face. This is the first step in them learning to take a breath, hold it and blow bubbles underwater.
Third, “The Float” a.k.a STARFISH. Where they learn to flip over and float on their backs. Put your face over your child’s so they look at you, and keep their head back.
Forth, you can teach them how to get out of the water. Have your child ‘monkey walk’ along the walls edge to the nearest stairs or ladder.
Maybe your child has regressed in their swimming ability, due to the lack of access.
If you have a child that’s not a strong swimmer and you’re not going to be in the water with them have them wear afloat. Double-check that their floats are the correct size and fit them comfortably but that their not loose.
Realizing that most drownings happen in backyard pools and when no one was attending to the pool.
Clear away any chairs, tables or anything a child may be able to use to climb into the pool.
Check the fencing or barricades around the pools to make sure how it works and how your baby might get inside.
There’s no question your child’s safety is number one but we’re sure you want them to enjoy being in the pool as well. Following these steps, will take hold of your child’s swim experience and help them gain confidence in the water. You’ll feel a whole lot better with them in the water as well.
Whatever approach you have with your child and their swimming journey the most important thing to remember is to go at your child’s pace, be calm and patient and HAVE FUN!
If you’re looking for protection inside the home, it might be time to get a children’s safety bumpers, then check this out!