Every child should learn to swim so that they are safe around water. If you have yet to teach your children the basic principles of swimming, now might be the best time to get started. If you are a strong swimmer yourself, you probably have loads of advice when it comes to educating your kids. Here are some top tips to help you teach your child to swim. Keeping your little ones safe around water is a top priority. It only takes a small amount of water and a moments lapse in supervision for the unthinkable to happen. Here are some things to think about when enjoying those watery fun times with family and friends.
In this post I discuss the following topics:
If possible enroll your children in swimming lessons from an early age. Teach them poolside safety and educate them about the role of lifeguards.
The sooner your child gets in the water, the sooner they will learn to swim. You have a natural instinct to protect your little one, which is understandable. If you don’t expose your child to water early on, though, they might develop an irrational fear of swimming. That could cause you loads of issues later down the road, and so it is best to address them now. To begin with, focuses on water games, swimming-readiness skills, and safety in and around the pool. Encourage him to blow bubbles in the water so he’ll learn to get his face wet without swallowing water.
Even if your little one wears a swimming aid, DO NOT leave him unattended. These often give false sense of security even though they clearly state that they are not life preserving items.
Avoid water wings, air-filled swimsuits, and inflatable flotation toys. your child will sink if they deflate, and these toys give a false sense of security. If you feel you would really rather have something more than the basic swimming costume and cap, have a look at your sport shops for swim aids that are teacher approved. These will help you teach and most are not overly buoyant and therefore encourage children to learn to float independently. The sooner your child can float unaided the safer he will be around large bodies of water.
Toddlers can get over excited in pools and can also swallow lots of water, with this in mind, make sure that they go to the toilet before swimming and that you wait an hour after eating before swimming. If your child is not yet potty trained, make sure that he is wearing the correct type of swim wear.
Much of the time, children find learning to swim boring. They’d rather be playing and messing about than learning the strokes and water safety. You need to try to make the experience fun for your kid so that they associate it with enjoyment. Click here for information on some pool games that you could play with to teach your child to swim. If you make the entire event into an exciting activity, you will find that your child learns fast.
Some pools set aside time for toddler sessions. These are often more relaxing for the water shy and can be less chaotic for you. Check ahead and see if you can make it to a dedicated toddler session.
You might think that you need to start teaching your child strokes right away, but you don’t. In fact, the first thing you need to worry about is building their confidence. The thing that holds most children back is the fear that they will drown. You need to help your kid get over that fear. Encourage your child to swim and don’t worry about helping them with their technique. If you spend too much time criticizing your child, they will not want to learn and it will be much more difficult to teach your child to swim.
Make sure your child knows only to enter water when you or another nominated adult is with them.
Is there a lifeguard on duty? Point her out to your child and make sure they know what the role of a lifeguard is.
It is crucially important that your little one listens to you when you tell them what to do. If you have any problems with this issue, you need to get out of the pool. It is unsafe for your child to disobey you when they are swimming. You need to let them know that they have to listen to you no matter what they think.
Check out the pool rules. Is there a ratio of adults to children that is adhered to? Is diving allowed? Talk about these rules with your child before you get into the water.
As a general rule, you should always stay no more than a couple of feet away from your child. If your little one starts to struggle, you want to be as close as possible so that you can help them. When they are swimming, swim closely next to them or behind them. Make sure that you watch out for any warning signs that might mean they can’t cope. That way, you can be sure that your child is always safe in the water.
Make sure you know where the depth of the pool changes and show your child. You can tell them to stay between certain markers (perhaps in the shallow end) where you feel they can play more safely. Especially if you are not going into the water yourself.
It will take a whole lot of patience on your part to teach your child to swim. You will need to take things slow at first so that you can teach them everything well. If there is anything that your child is uncomfortable with, you should leave it for a moment and come back to it later. In time, they will learn to swim, and you won’t need to worry as much.
Finally, enjoying water often means spending lots of time in the sun. Remember these steps and teach them to your children.
SLIP on a top, SLAP on a hat, SLOP on some sunscreen.
I am a preschool and primary school teacher and mum to 3 children. I have been involved in education since 1997 and have trained in a variety of educational specialist areas. It is with this expertise that I write articles to help parents and educators provide quality learning experiences for the children in their care.