JULY 13, 2021
Swimming is one of those essential skills all kids must learn both for their development and their safety. Going from the hesitation of putting their face in the water to mastering a breaststroke or jumping off the diving board can sometimes be quite the journey, depending on your child’s personality, development, and natural abilities. Whether or not you enrolled your kids in swimming lessons this summer, here are a few ways to encourage and teach your child how to swim with at-home lessons.
You don’t have to go all-in on the first day. Begin the process of swimming lessons for kids in the tub, at the sink, or even with a bowl of water. Give your child a straw and show them how to blow. When they’ve mastered that skill, encourage them to put their lips in the water and blow.
Who says goggles, small pool noodles, and diving sticks aren’t made for the bathtub? If you’ve ever tried shampooing a small child’s hair, you know that most kids are not fans of getting water in their faces. Start out slowly by giving them toys they can easily reach, and encourage them to put their eyes in the water to better “see” those objects as they grasp them.
Splashing, kicking while holding onto the side of the pool, humming to keep water out of the nose, and making their arms into a “rainbow” to learn strokes are all fun techniques to get your child comfortable with the mechanics of swimming. These activities are especially exciting for those toddler at-home swimming lessons.
Once they’re comfortable with putting their eyes in the water, moving their arms, and kicking their legs, slowly put it all together, and practice swimming in short spurts.
While choosing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket is imperative for boating safety, a flotation device can give a child a false sense of security. Never rely on floaties, puddle jumpers, inflatable tubes, or other pool toys to keep your child afloat.
No one masters swimming lessons on the first try. Repetition and comfort in the water are key. There may be tears, and they will swallow water from time to time. But be patient and encourage your kids. Learning any new skill comes with a curve, but swimming will be both helpful and a great way to keep your child active and entertained.
The CDC recommends “touch supervision” — being close enough to reach out and touch your child at all times. When you’re watching children near water, don’t engage in any distractions such as texting, scrolling social media, or conversing with a group of friends.
Make sure your pool area is a safe place for your infants, toddlers, and even older kids that have mastered swimming lessons. Fence the pool, install a self-latching gate, use security cameras and sensors to monitor the space.
Allison Clark is a senior writer for Brinks Home. She enjoys educating others on the benefits of smart home security and using technology to simplify everyday life.
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