How To Teach Kids To Swim
Your toddler might take to the water, naturally or might be a bit grumpy, but rest assured with the right approach and the proper swimming lessons for kids. Swimming: a life skill, which ensures your child’s safety and is a gateway to a world of aquatic sports and recreation. As per the recent statistics, fifty percent of primary school pass-outs do not learn how to swim.
It’s a sorry state of affairs as most of them will be deprived of life-saving skills, and the doors to the world of aquatic sports and recreation will be shut for them until they take it upon themselves to learn. Swimming helps in the overall physical, emotional, and social growth of a child, as proved by the recent studies conducted by the University of Griffith. It is a must learn skill, and the sooner you see your kids swimming, the better.
How to teach an infant to swim?
The mammalian dive reflex in infants prevents water from getting into the lungs. It is active in babies up to six months; thus, many experts conclude that it is safe to introduce your baby to the pool at an early age. The baby develops instincts and movements that can be beneficial when the baby grows up and is added to advance swimming tactics.
However, The American Association of Pediatrics, consider the period form 0-6 months, not conducive for an infant to start swimming lessons as the chances of swallowing water is more. However, there have been instances where infants four weeks old can be seen having fun in the pool. The affinity of your child towards water can be an excellent indicator to decide the right age to be introduced to the pool.
Before you take your kid swimming
You might be anxious while carrying your baby to swim for the first time. Here are a few things that you must take care of:
1. The right swimming gear : Make sure you have
● The swimming nappies
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The Best baby float (Read Detail)
2. Visit the Pool: Gather all the information you need. Timing may change if you have a private swimming area at home.
● The timings
● The types of swimming sessions
● The number of baby pairs assigned to each instructor,
● The baby changing facilities.
● water temperature ( the water temperature must not be less than 31˚C)
3. Prepare your baby for getting used to being in water: You can give the baby Summer baths and build your baby’s confidence. You can introduce different water games, and this helps your baby get used to being in the water. Before you get into the pool with your baby, wait till your baby takes to water.
While getting your baby into the pool
While entering the swimming pool, make sure you
● Take the steps
● Hold her in the sitting position
● Support the baby with both hands one on the bum and the other on the head and neck
● Carry the baby close to your chest
Make sure that the baby is not alarmed and feels secured.
While inside the pool
● Help the baby to feel secure, hold the baby facing towards you.
● Help the baby to feel relaxed by smiling and asking things that will make it feel at ease.
● Cardle the baby and keep the baby on the back, support the bum and back with your arm, holding it close to you.
● Ensure that the baby feels buoyancy by standing behind it with your hands under the baby’s back so that the rest of the body floats. It will make the baby jerk its legs and arms.
● Make the baby float on the back first to let it see you and gain confidence. While floating on the front, place one hand under the tummy and the other under the chin.
● Make the baby feel the water on its face, by trickling some over the head and face. You can also gently rub your wet hand over her face. Make sure the baby gets used to water on the front.
● Ensure that the baby gets used to the ears being underwater by holding the baby sideways, with one hand holding the neck and the other supporting the bum, lower the head slowly, till the ears are underwater for a few seconds.
● Make sure you keep moving and swap positions. Do not stand still for long. It might make the baby feel cold.
● Play games and have fun while in the pool, make sure that the baby is enjoying and us relaxed while in the pool.
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While getting out of the pool
● Make sure that your baby is out of the pool before it gets tired. The duration of the time, your baby under three months, is in the pool should not exceed ten minutes.
● Hold the baby close to your chest, with your arms supporting the bum and the neck.
Once out of the pool
● Ensure that the baby does not catch a cold.
● Keep the baby hydrated, with a drink or a slice of fruit.T
- The baby must be relaxed and confident while in the pool, to learn the basics of swimming.
How to teach your kids to swim
Once your kid has taken to the water and is confident in the pool, it’s time to move on to the next level in swimming which includes-
Learning to hold the breath:
While most kids can hold their breath naturally while in the water, teaching them how to maintain the breath while swimming can be comfortable with the following techniques:
● Blowing in the face: if your kid is young, blowing in the face will make the baby hold the breahe, and give you a few moments to place it in the water.
● Blowing bubbles: By blowing bubbles while in the pool, it will enable the kid to learn to breathe ‘out’ and not breathe ‘in’ while swimming.
● By holding the nose: if your kid is old enough, she can hold her nose with her hand and place the face in the water for a few seconds and progressively increasing the duration.
Learning to swim:
● Start by holding your kid close to the wall and move away form your kid. Ask her to swim to you any way she can. Increase the distance between you and your kid every time.
● Focus on the movements of the arms and legs.
● Schedule the swimming sessions. Mix fun activities with a focus on changes of arms and feet.
● Make sure you and your kid have loads of fun while in the pool through activities that make learning fun.
● If you feel the need for an instructor, ask for help and guidance, instantly.
How long does it take to learn to swim?
The sooner a baby takes to the pool, and the better are the chances of her learning the skill easy and fast. It is observed that kids who begin swimming between the age of six to eighteen months take around eighteen to twenty-four months to learn the basics of swimming and be safe.
Make sure you are together with your kid in the pool at all time during the learning phase having fun; while teaching her one of the essential life skills.