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Swimming Safe this Summer!!

With the summer just around the corner, the mothers are getting frantic about engaging their toddler into a variety of activity classes.

Among the popular activities, the most popular one seems to be “Swim lessons”.

Children love to play in and around water, but no matter where you find it – in a bucket, bowl, toilet, tub, sink, puddle, or pool – I would be careful when my child is around it! Make sure you take all the steps to protect your toddler when he or she is around water source.  Make sure his/her outdoor play area doesn’t have even a small source of water. If your child is playing near water (like at a park with an area for water play), keep your eyes on her.

Safe Swimming – How to Make Swimming Safe in this Summer?

Here are some of the precautions I would take for my child:

At a pool or the beach:

It’s fine to let her splash and play to her heart’s content – as long as you supervise and stay close. Always remain within arm’s reach of any child who can’t swim well.

What about water safety in the bathtub?

The most important thing to remember is to never leave your young child unattended in a bathtub, even for a few seconds. If the phone rings and you must answer it, wrap your child in a towel and take her with you.

Other ways to help keep your child safe:

Cover the bottom of the tub with a rubber suction mat to prevent slipping, and fill the tub with only 3 to 4 inches of warm water. If your baby can’t sit up securely on her own, support her back so she stays upright.

How do I keep my child safe in the pool or at a lake?

I waited until my baby held up her head on her own (that was by about 4 or 5 months) before taking her swimming in a pool or lake. When your child is old enough to go into the water with you, these would be some steps I would follow to stay safe:

Be prepared and take an infant/child CPR course.

Any time you’re near water, have your child wear a personal flotation device (PFD) that fits properly and is approved by the U.S Coast Guard. Don’t rely on inflatable toys (like water wings) to keep your child safe in the water.

Should my child take swimming lessons?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a couple of small studies have found that swimming lessons for children ages 1 to 4 may lower the risk of drowning.

And some kids may not be developmentally ready for swim lessons until they are at least 4 years old. Whether swimming lessons are right for your child depends on how often she’s around water and her physical abilities.

And as soon as you start bringing your child to the pool or lake, begin teaching simple water safety rules including:

  • Don’t go near water without an adult, and use the buddy system in the water.
  • Never dunk another child.
  • Don’t run on the pool deck or boat dock.
  • Always jump in feet first.

Even children who aren’t talking yet are able to understand a lot more than they can say. Teaching water safety early makes sure your child is familiar with the basics of water safety as she gets older and learns to swim.

Pointers to look in a swim class:

A warm pool, which makes getting in much more comfortable, and a class with no more than 10 parent-child pairs

Class placement: Find out how children are placed at various levels and exactly what will be expected of your child in the class.

Class size: If your child has special needs, has trouble learning in groups, or is especially anxious around water, consider signing him up for private or semi-private lessons. But in general, it’s a good idea to have your child at least try group lessons.

Staff: In a group class, there should be at least one instructor for every six preschoolers or eight school-age children. No matter what the class size, the ratio of staff to students should be small enough so that teachers can give each child individual instruction in addition to the group activities. There should also be a lifeguard on duty at all times.

Teacher credentials: Ask what training the instructors received and what certifications they hold. The YMCA, for instance, requires that instructors have a current YMCA lifeguard or aquatic safety assistant certification as well as a specialized instructor certification for the age group they’re teaching. Other programs may require that teachers be certified water safety instructors through the American Red Cross.

Class organization: Kids learn best when they know what to expect, so each class should have a consistent schedule that strikes a balance between skill time and play time. The class should follow a logical progression of swimming skills. (For example, children should master breath-holding before they’re asked to dunk their heads underwater).

Instruction style: The teacher should clearly demonstrate what she’s asking the kids to do. She needs to know what children are capable of at various ages but allow each child to master new skills at his own rate. Make sure that the teacher’s tone is always supportive and positive.

Downtime and swim time: Notice how much time each child has to wait for a turn with the instructor. Even in group classes, there should be more “doing” than waiting. While the teacher is spending individual instruction time with one child, the others should be busily (and safely) practicing their new skills.

Class management: Take note of how well the instructor manages her class and handles misbehavior. The kids shouldn’t be allowed to splash or dunk each other or run around the pool.

Image Source:- Pixabay

Author: Priyanka Mohanty

Motherhood has been an amazing journey so far; each day, an adventure of sorts. After a stint in marketing and marketing communications, I am currently a stay at home mom, blogger, traveller and chef. Never thought I would be happy to call myself a SAHM! Right now,  my 24/7 job is being a mom. I am here to share my thoughts and experiences on parenting, life and ways we could improve our lives. When I’m not reorganizing the drawers or handling tantrums, I can be found writing about health, nutrition, beauty and wellness. Also, I am an endangered bookworm who loves nothing more than finding the perfect solution to life’s little conundrums in books and nature.

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