If anyone hasn’t noticed by the sweltering weather as of late, summer is here. I mean, how can you not know? There is obviously a looming fear of hot seat-belt buckles brushing our skin, causing a cry comparable to that of a newborn puppy. But, other (more important) concerns lie within our minds when it comes to our children’s safety during the summer.
When you and your family have fun at the beach, community pool, or even your own pool, the safety switch is on. Who am I kidding? It’s ALWAYS on! When that switch clicks, we as parents take the initiative to make sure our bases are covered and our children are safe and sound. One way of doing so is with the use of floaties. But, we must be aware that floaties can help… and “not help” simultaneously.
Now, I know… Floaties give us a sense of safety and calm when they are worn by our children. Besides that, we wouldn’t have the freedom to do fun adulty things. If it wasn’t for the floaties, you wouldn’t be able to:
Keep your hair dry, and get a tan
Keep water spots from forming on your sunglasses
Be able to enjoy your favorite cocktail without getting an unwanted splash of chlorine in it
But, when you consider the progress your child has made in their swim lessons, you may reconsider using floaties the whole time they are in the water. Love Swimming is about teaching your child swim technique, as well as helping them to have confidence and independence in the water. We teach our students how to swim without floaties so they won’t become too dependent on them. But, you shouldn’t stop once you drive away from our parking lot.
The best thing to do with your children is to have them swim the first 15-30 minutes without floaties, with you. Once their time is up, they are welcome to wear them if they or you so choose. The reason why we suggest swimming without floaties first is to give them a confidence boost. If they know they can swim without floaties, they won’t rely on them later on. Also, if they really want floaties, swimming without them will be the incentive to get them back.
It’s all about consistency. If your child can swim without floaties at Love Swimming, they are capable of doing the same elsewhere. It just takes time, consistency, patience and support. As long we offer that to our children, they will not only have the tools to become confident swimmers, but confident human beings as well.
Taking the kids to the beach or pool? Fun! Letting the little ones splash and play is a great way to spend some family time together, for sure. But as they grow up, it’s important that kids learn a few things in the water, as well. Water safety? Yes, please.
Here are the 5 Swim Skills All Children Should Know:
1. Get in and out of the pool safely
Sure, when the kids are older, jumping into the pool via cannonball seems fun and exciting. But it’s important for your little swimmers to know how to sit down and enter the pool safely and properly — and it’s even more important for them to know that getting OUT of the pool is just as easy (elbow, elbow, belly, knee). This ensures that your child is confident and won’t need your help when they can do it themselves.
2. Turn over for a back float
Especially for young swimmers, this is one of the most important skills to learn in the water. Why? Imagine you’re tired in the water and you need to get to the side but you can’t seem to summon the strength to swim there. No problem! Just turn on your back to float and you can ease your way over there. This is imperative for kids because it allows your child to relax, regroup and know that they can do it!
3. Tread water
Every swimmer needs to know how to tread water. Why? It’s not only for lifesaving measures, but to just hang out in the water when it’s too deep to touch. It’s that whole confidence thing again — when your child knows they are in control in the water, it’s much more fun! And think of the energy they’ll burn when they’re using all those muscles to stay afloat and play.
4. Swim forward
Remember learning how to dog paddle? It’s fun, and it works. Kind of. But it sure is easier (and faster) to move forward in the water by using different swim strokes.
Once learned, swimming is like riding a bike; it’s a lesson that will stay with your little goldfish the rest of his or her life. You’ll see the extraordinary results for years to come. Way to go, Mom (and Dad), for imparting such a great skill!
5. Go underwater
As time goes on and your child gets older and stronger, they should be able to put their head in the water little by little. When your swimmer knows how to do this, it means fewer chances of swallowed water because it’ll become second nature to close their mouth and maintain that confidence. But this may take time, which is why swimming should be practiced routinely. And when you watch your child happily put his or her face in the water, it’ll be time to celebrate how far they’ve come!