• Donae

Benefits of teaching your child how to swim

Teaching your child how to swim is an important activity that I encourage most parents to get done as soon as possible. Did you know that drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children? It's shocking, isn't it? Something that I believe can definitely be prevented if we as parents take the necessary precautions at all times.


The most surprising thing as well is that it occurs most frequently at a pool or beach where one adult was supposedly watching the child but may have become distracted by a phone or conversations etc.


Drowning occurs quickly in split seconds so being aware of your child's whereabouts is often so crucial to their safety.


According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) & National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), formal swimming lessons are associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning for children ages 1 -4.

Swimming lessons, therefore, is a great way to teach your kids how to stay safe while being around water.


So here are the benefits of formal swimming lessons for kids so that they can stay safe around any body of water.


Have you also found any tips that you could share? Please feel free to add to my list, or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I would be happy to help you!


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kids learning how to swim for water safety
KIDS LEARNING HOW TO SWIM

“Teaching your child to swim helps to prevent water related accidents which is one of the leading cause of death in children.”

WATER SAFETY Making sure your child is safe around any form of water is key. Water safety does not only involve swimming pools or at the beach. A bathtub, jacuzzi, hot tubs, buckets of water, or even kid's play pools are just as dangerous for kids.


As parents, we have to be alert and ensure that our kids are safe at all times. I suggest if both parents are involved, then one person should be placed to supervise a child at a time (designated water watcher). That way the other parent is aware that one parent is watching.


In my household, my husband and I will assign one of us to be the parent watching one child at a time especially at the pool or beach.


A swimming instructor also advised us of using whistles that you can place like a band around your hand. The parent who is responsible for watching the kids will wear that band. He or she will be watching 100% and will not be distracted by phones or anything, and can alert the other person if there is a potential danger.


This is a great strategy to use especially at pool parties or at the beach.



BEING COMFORTABLE IN WATER

Teaching your child how to be comfortable in the water is actually essential when it comes to learning how to swim.


The more comfortable that they are in the water, the better they are able to maneuver out of dangerous situations without being fearful.


Simple things you can do as a parent is to bring them to a pool while being supervised and have them get comfortable with being in the water by kicking their feet, blowing bubbles with their mouth and moving their hands, etc. This can also be done at home in the bathtub as well with supervision.



FLOATING DEVICES

I am not a huge fan of using floating devices because sometimes they can give your child a false illusion that he or she is a great swimmer, and sometimes they may try to go into the water without their floating device thinking that it is safe.


However, it is better to have it on than having nothing at all especially around pools with deep ends. I only suggest the use of them until your child is able to learn how to swim on their own.


Teaching your child how to swim is however far more important and extremely beneficial than them relying on floating devices which gives a false impression of them knowing how to swim.


Always, however, have your child wear a life jacket when doing any form of open water-related activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, skiing, etc whether or not they know how to swim.





LEARNING TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS

Teaching your child to swim also helps them with learning how to follow instructions. I personally have tried to teach my kids how to swim on my own during the pandemic shutdown, but I have allowed the professionals to do that this time around (they don't listen to me as much as they do the instructors!).


They learned while at swimming lessons how to sit, listen and follow instructions while being taught how to swim.


Learning to follow instructions while being taught how to swim
LEARNING TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS


LEARN CPR AND FIRST AID

This is a class that I would definitely recommend that all parents and kids learn what to do in the case of a drowning emergency. The classes are relatively easy to take and are either offered with swimming lessons or can be done through a government program, not-for-profit organization, or school program.


My children were able to attend a free swimming lessons program provided by the Children's Board at our community pool. Check out my blog post on Where to find free educational programs and resources for children of all stages. First, do a search to see what programs are available.


CPR can often be a lifesaver in drowning accidents and therefore I highly recommend learning how to perform it in the case of an emergency.


It is also recommended to teach children as well who are able to understand because they too can be able to help someone who needs CPR.



6 year old learning how to do CPR
6 YEAR OLD DOING CPR EDUCATION

Overall I do hope that this will encourage you as parents to understand the significance of your children learning to swim and the benefits of having them do so.


Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.


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