Your Baby Can Swim!   

by Pool Builders on 08-30-2011 in Articles

In most cases, you will want to teach your children to swim early on to help protect their safety. If they happen to accidentally fall into the pool, they will be able to maneuver themselves to the wall and hold on until someone can help them out. Far too many children drown each summer; Something that could easily be prevented if parents were more invested in teaching their kids about pool safety, while educating them on the basics of swimming. Though your child may not be physically able to swim, there's no reason why you shouldn't start acclimating them to the pool early on.

Kicking

There are a variety of exercises that your child need learn prior to swimming. The first lesson is kicking. Hold your baby as though you were hugging them and slowing begin stepping backward. This will familiarize the child with the sensation of moving through water. Grab hold of their legs and move them back and forth in a kicking-type motion. After some time, it will become natural.

Dipping

Hold your baby and place your right hand on the child's back and the left hand on their chest. Count 1, 2, 3 and blow into the baby's face before quickly dipping them under water. You'll want to continue blowing on your baby's face until they are completely submerged. Raise them back up from the water and hold them against your chest. Give them praise, relax for a little and then try it all over again. Repetition is key!

Remain Calm

During these exercises, it's inevitable that your baby will ingest some water. Make sure not to panic. While some children may become scared, others will brush it off. If you make a point to remain calm and collected, the child will take after you and do the same. After a couple coughs, all will be well.

Floating

After you've gotten your child used to the dipping exercise, try letting them go under water for a second or too. This will help the child realize that they can float. As always, raise them up and praise them for a few minutes before repeating the exercise.

Breath Control and Release

Holding your child as described in the dipping exercise, blow on their face, dip and allow them to stay under for a bit longer than before. The added time increase will teach your child breath control.

Advice

If you and baby are having a good time so far, decide whether to move forward to the next exercise: turning and floating. If baby is worn out or cranky, it may be time to pack it in for the day.

Back Floating

Place the child in front of you, securing them with one hand under each baby arm. Count 1, 2, 3, blow, raise them from the water and turn them on their back. Use your dominate hand to ease and comfort the baby while using the other for head support. Keep baby on their back until they become comfortable and stop squirming.

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