Before your child can take part in the fun with friends and family or at camp this summer, he or she may need some help learning to feel safe and comfortable in the water. According to Swimming.org, children should know how to swim for safety reasons. Also, it is important to note that as your child gets older, it can be harder for him or her to shake off memories of being apprehensive about water, so getting him or her swimming as soon as possible is the best way to go.
Your child may have very real fears about breathing and being able to float instead of sinking, so you need to take a loving and gradual approach to make the experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible for everyone involved. Check out these three quick tips for getting your child off of the ground and into the water in time for your next family vacation.
Just go for it
Some kids may be upset at the prospect of going into water, even if you’ve been letting them sit poolside for weeks. It can be very hard as a parent to see your child work through that level of fear. Remember that you can’t let your child’s apprehension dictate everything in this case, as he or she may end up never going into the water as a result. Be patient but firm when it comes to swimming. While you should acknowledge your child’s fears and try to make things run as smoothly as possible, you still need to move forward.
Lose the Arm Floats
You may have gotten your child arm floats, also known as water wings, for his or her arms to make your child feel comfortable in the water, but those may not actually be the right way to go. According to Safebee, these types of devices can give your child a false sense of security. They also discourage proper swim form because they force the body to be vertical and not horizontal in the water. If your child is currently using arm floats, make a new rule: floats are only allowed poolside and must come off before he or she enters the water.
Start with the basics
You can teach your child basic swimming techniques yourself or go for Mesa swimming lessons. With lessons, your child will focus on the right techniques, leaving you free to focus on play. Make sure the place you take your child for lessons is safe, with safety equipment such as a ring buoy and reaching pole present. All the instructors should be CPR-trained and have certification from a reputable program.