When Is Your Child Water Safe? How Much Instruction Does a Child Need Before He Can Be Safe in the Water  

by Pool Builders on 04-07-2012 in Articles

The well-being and safety of their children is a main priority for all parents. Parents would like to see their children to build up capabilities that will help them thrive and survive in their childhood years. Getting water safe, or quite simply, to be able to take good care of oneself in a water setting, is a crucial ability for all children to possess. Having instructed private swim classes in Los Angeles for over ten years with the swim school KidSwim, I have come across many parents truly interested in getting their kids water safe. It has been my observation that the notion of water safety implies various things to different parents. One of the more frequent queries I get asked by parents inquiring about swimming classes is 'how quickly can my son or daughter be water safe?'.Normally, my response to these moms and dads is: 'what is your concept of water safe? The most frequent responses from these moms and dads revolve around two ideas: 1) 'so I can take a seat on the side and watch my child but I don't need to get in the water with him or her' or 2) 'so I don't have to be worrying in case my daughter or son slips in the water unexpectedly.My response to fathers and mothers that wish to be entirely uninvolved with their kids when they are in the water is to NOT be absent in your kid's early water activities. Sharing the water experience together with your daughter or son is a great bonding experience for both children and parents and promotes positive experiences which will boost the kid's wish to learn to swim and be water safe. You, as a parent, need to prevent anything harmful from occurring to your child while he or she is in the water. Staying close to your children cuts down on possibility by a great deal. If you wish to not be together with your kid in the water, she or he needs to be at least five years old and also have taken consistent instruction for no less than three summer seasons. If the child has not taken appropriate swimming instruction or training, it is best to be in the water along with them.Moms and dads usually consider the second issue, whether or not a child can handle himself in a safe fashion in the event that he slips into water, when they consider water safety. Within a setting where swimming pools seem to be very common, this issue is extremely legitimate for a lot of parents.In case of the child falling into a pool, there are numerous factors at play and it is dangerous to assume that a child with a few weeks of swim instruction may be capable of instinctually not panic and take care of himself effectively in a water crisis situation.My personal position is this: consider that children aren't water safe until the kid is a minimum of seven years of age with five full summers of swim instruction.To be water safe, children need to become confident in water, and this only comes after years of instruction and practicing in the water. A child with a few years of practical experience in the water will be more assured and for that reason are much less likely to freak out in an unexpected scenario in the water and consequently they will have a greater probability of safely extracting him or herself from a potentially unsafe situation.Kids unfamiliar with the water environment do not possess the ability to instinctively react to a potentially hazardous water scenario and will have a greater potential for not acting in a positive manner. A younger or more inexperienced child will have less confidence and may panic which in turn generates a potential for drowning. My suggestion genuinely is NOT to hasten your son or daughter into an assumed water safe status. Even when a kid may possibly be a capable swimmer, it does not necessarily mean that the child is water safe. Being water safe is a big responsibility that your son or daughter will eventually take on for themselves, but for the time being, it's our job as a parent to be our child's lifeguard until they are able to calmly and maturely manage themselves in a water environment.One thing I always remembered hearing from lifeguard coaches was 'a good lifeguard makes a good save, a great lifeguard doesn't have to.' Possible hazards are usually recognized ahead of time by experienced lifeguards and can be mitigated before they turn out to be issues.Reducing the risk to our young children around water has to be a high concern for all moms and dads. Similar to the lifeguards, as parents we will need to identify the chance of danger before it even materializes. As moms and dads we must be aware that there is always the potential for danger when we are not in the vicinity of our young children when they're in water.A child needs time to become secure in the water environment before he can take responsibility for himself within it. I recognize that it takes an enormous level of vigilance on our part as adults but the final result makes it worthwhile. Trained properly, with patience, correct skills and breathing as the emphasis, along with a lot of fun and games thrown in, your son or daughter will likely be a fantastic swimmer, and with some time and experience, they will eventually become water safe.

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