Teaching your baby how to swim can be one of the best gifts you can give. Not only does it boost the development of your baby’s mobility, but it also helps improve brain functions, among other health benefits. More importantly, it’s an excellent way for you to bond with your child.
Letting your child experience the water as soon as possible makes them less fearful of swimming, which can be useful in preventing accidents as they grow up. Babies can learn how to swim easily due to their experience inside the womb. Their light anatomy gives them the ability to float, and their natural reflexes enable them to maneuver through the water easily.
If you intend to teach your child how to swim, you should take the necessary measures to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Aside from enrolling in a swimming school, the guide below will discuss swimming safety tips to always keep in mind.
Teaching your baby how to swim should be done with the utmost care. To give your babies a fun and safe time in the water, here are seven tips you should follow.
1. Enroll in a swimming class
When it comes to an essential skill like swimming, it’s best to let the experts take charge. Enrolling in a class can be a precious investment since certified experts will educate you and your child about the right techniques and practices. Since you’ll also be attending with other parents and kids, your baby can have fun and make friends.
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2. Pre-condition your child for his/her first lesson
Before you enroll your child in a swimming class, he needs to develop an affinity with water. For your child to associate positive emotions with water, take note of this pre-conditioning exercise.
Step 1: Start by preparing water in bath temperature and taking note of the key phrase: “(Child’s name), ready, one, two, three, go.”
Step 2: After you’ve recited that phrase, wait one second and gently pour the water unto your child’s face.
Step 3: While bathing your child, make sure to smile and laugh.
Step 4: Repeat all steps and make sure that your actions are consistent and rhythmical.
Conducting this exercise before your first pool session will allow your child to be more comfortable.
3. Make sure that an adult is always on the watch
In case you need to settle a payment, talk to another person, or head out to the bathroom, ensure first that someone else is keeping an eye on your child. If your child is adventurous, he/she might suddenly plunge towards the deep end of the pool while your attention is elsewhere. Having an adult to always stay on the watch would ensure that accidents are kept at bay.
READ THIS RELATED ARTICLE: A Guide to Your Infant or Toddler’s First Swimming Lessons: FAQs
4. Let them swim only within your arms’ length
As your child glides through the water, it’s crucial to stay within arm’s reach. In case of sudden fatigue or any accident, staying nearby will allow you to bring your infant free from harm’s way.
5. Get the right gear
Having the right gear ensures a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience. Here are the essential swimming pool items every child should own.
► Sunblock and hat – If you are taking your child swimming outdoors, long periods of sun exposure is inevitable. Pairing sunblock with a hat won’t only protect your baby from UV rays; it will keep them stylish during downtime.
► Swimsuit – To fortify your baby’s protection against the sun, it’s crucial to get a UV protective swimsuit. Buying a one-piece bathing suit or pairing trunks with a rash guard will guarantee safety and comfort.
► Swim diaper – In case your child isn’t potty trained yet, you should know that regular diapers won’t work well in the water. Before you and your infant take a dip in the pool, let him wear water-resistant swim diapers.
► Swim Cap-Aside from protecting your child’s hair from the pool chemicals and keeping their hair out of their face, a good swim cap can help keep toddlers warm in the pool.
6. Learn to identify signs of drowning
It’s important to remember that infants and toddlers can only communicate to a certain degree. In case your child starts to get into an accident, he/she might not be able to let you know immediately. To keep your pool session accident free, here are ten common signs of drowning you should be on the lookout for.
►Head low in the water
► Gasping or hyperventilating
► Glassy or empty-looking eyes
► Body in a vertical position with little or no leg movement
► Swimming with no direction
► The child is near the bottom of the pool
► Extreme fatigue
► High-pitched breathing
► Head titled back with an open mouth
When drowning, children may not be able to call out nor flailing their arms for help, so learning how to spot the silent signs of drowning in your children is crucial.
7. Learn CPR
Preparing for an accident may not be the most pleasant thing to do, but it’s a must. In the worst-case scenario, learning how to do CPR can save his/her life. At the same time, learning how to conduct CPR can prepare you well for other kinds of emergencies.
Keep your child safe
Research estimates that about ten people die daily from unintentional drowning. With over 320,000 victims annually, this statistic undoubtedly states the importance of learning how to swim.
The fact that the highest drowning rates are among children ages 1–9 is alarming for any parent. While teaching your child how to swim doesn’t ultimately provide immunity from an accident, it adds another layer of protection. As you introduce your baby to the water, following these tips will ensure that your child’s experience in the pool or at home is safe and enjoyable.
If you want your son or daughter to maximize the benefits of swimming, getting lessons is a must. Letting certified experts educate them about the right techniques and best practices won’t only minimize the risk of an accident; it will also allow your child to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally.
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