- if a child can swim they are far less likely to suffer death by drowning
The best time to teach kids to swim is as soon as possible. Out of the delivery room and straight into the deep end might be pushing it a bit though. Kids take to water naturally if allowed to proceed at their own, supervised, pace and once they are used to it - they want to be there all day
Swimming brings a lot of positives but by far the most important benefit of ensuring your kids can swim is their safety
Being able to swim is not a cast-iron guarantee against drowning, but it's a step in the right direction.
There are plenty of other benefits, perhaps not so immediately obvious: -
A child will gain self-confidence, build self-esteem ( My first Swimming Certificate claimed I could 'Jump in and Swim Nine Yards'. I was SO proud!). They will get some aerobic, non-stressful exercise, have lots of fun - and be tired enough to sleep well that evening!
Don't force children to participate - when they see other kids having fun they will naturally gravitate towards the pool; but let them do so at their own pace
Is Michael Phelps glad that he learned to swim?
Kids need to learn how to float on their back so they can take a rest if they get tired in the water
Treading water, keeping afloat in one place, is another important skill for kids to learn
In addition to swimming skills, children should be taught how to get themselves out of the pool - and that means practicing exits until the child can do it easily. Once a child is able to jump in the water you can make a game of jumping in and getting out again
Until a child has learned to swim confidently they should wear an approved life-vest, which is designed to prevent immersion of the head
Armbands and inflatable rings are not lifesaving equipment - they are toys. Try jumping from a plane with a toy parachute. See what I mean?
Remember: - nobody is immune to the dangers! All children must be carefully supervised around any open body of water, no matter what their swimming ability because even the strongest of swimmers can find themselves in difficulties
The best approach to teaching your kids (or anyone else, including adults) to swim is to contact a professional group such as www.swimmingnature.com
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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©