Teaching Your Children How to Swim
One of the most important things you can teach your child is how to swim. Not only is swimming a fun activity that can make exercising more enjoyable, but it’s also a skill that has the potential to save your child’s life. Below are some basic guidelines for introducing your youngster to swimming safely.
Put Safety First
While you probably don’t like to think about the dangers that can arise from owning a pool, addressing safety concerns in advance can ensure that you’re prepared if the unthinkable occurs. Learning basic first aid, including CPR, is a smart move that could pay off in a big way. As a parent, you’ll want to look for a CPR course that specializes in applying the technique to children.
You’ll also need to plan for placing fencing or gates around your pool to prevent your child from accessing the water without your oversight. Even youngsters who have already learned to swim can be in danger if not supervised near the pool, so having the ability to restrict access is a must. When you’ve taken these steps and it’s time to start looking into custom pools in Montgomery or your area, you’ll be safely prepared for this addition to your home.
Once you’ve decided to install a pool at home, you’ll want to ensure that your child is safe in his or her own backyard by teaching water skills at an early age. As long as they are healthy, children as young as six months can be introduced to water gradually and calmly, so that they become comfortable with this new aquatic environment. Although you won’t be teaching your child to actually swim at such a young age, you’ll be imparting to him or her that a pool is not something to fear. As a bonus, getting little ones used to water in this way has also been shown to accelerate the speed at which they learn to swim once they are older.
Encourage Low-Key Play
When your child gets a bit older and is ready to move about in the water, continue to make it a fun, rather than a fearful, experience. Try teaching him or her to splash gently, or play together with some favorite toys so that being in the pool is seen as enjoyable and not stressful. Speak in calm and confident tones, so your child understands that there is no need to panic when in the water. When possible, play in the pool with your child when other youngsters are not around to avoid over-excitement. If your child becomes too wound up or there are other rowdy children present, return to the pool at a later time when things are calmer.
Teach the Basics
When your child is old enough to respond to instruction, you can begin teaching basic swimming motions. Holding your youngster while you both walk around the pool will give him or her a sense of how it feels to move in the water, and helping his or her feet to kick will teach your child about self-propulsion. Moving on to supporting your child’s back while he or she learns to float can help your little one relax and feel secure while experiencing buoyancy.
When your child is ready, teach him or her to take a breath, then submerge just the mouth and blow bubbles. Have your child practice holding his or her breath and then exhaling while moving further and further underwater. Once your little one is comfortable with this, you can begin combining the motion, floating and breathing techniques you’ve taught into actual swimming.
Teaching your child to become comfortable and competent in the water is an important step in safe parenting. By introducing your little one to swimming with patience and a protective mindset, you’ll be preparing him or her to be a confident swimmer who enjoys playing, relaxing and exercising in the pool.