Watching your kids swimming in the pool or beach is really an interesting experience. However, you need to train them on how to swim successfully and stay safe inside and outside the pool. Swimming has its thrills and risks but you have to properly train your kids on the basic swimming skills they need to know and enjoy it as a career or hobby.
Most of the time, drowning happens because of improper swimming training, poor preparation, and failure to detect the signs of drowning on time. It is regarded as one of the unintentional deaths occurring everywhere, in the world today with over four hundred thousand deaths reported each year. Evaluating this record, about eighty percent of these deaths are kids below five years old and swimming pools are the places where drowning deaths occur frequently.
If you can read this article, we will teach you how to prepare your child for swimming practice, how to protect the kids during swimming exercise, behavioral patterns around the pool, and the basic swimming skills every child needs to know, how to save a life using simple cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) measures, and many other skills you need to know.
Table of Contents
- Preparing Your Child for Swimming Practice
- Expected Behavioral Patterns Around the Pool and Beach
- The Instructions to Follow At the Swimming Area
- Practicing Safe Behaviors in The Pool
- The Basic Swimming Skills Every Child Should Know
- Protecting the Kids When They Are Swimming
- Watch Out For the Signs of Drowning
- Swimming Pool Maintenance and Childproofing
- How to Save a Life Using CPR Measures
- Swimming Games for Kids
- Are You Ready For the Swimming Lessons Now?
There is no regulated age when you can begin to teach your child how to swim but most parents decide to start as early as from three or four years old. No matter the age, do not neglect the fact that these kids need a lifeguard mentorship if you cannot do it by yourself. This swimming practice will help them whenever they have faced with unpredicted situations anywhere, either in the beach, swimming pools, even journeying across the river, and they will be able to manage the situations carefully.
Here are some of the ways to prepare your kids for swimming lessons:
Ø Teach your kids about the danger of running around the pool because the floor is usually wet and slippery, and they may fall into the water and get drowned or hit the head on the wall and sustain injuries.
Ø Your children should understand that swimming lessons take sometimes; therefore, they should carefully follow all the instructions of the swimming pool attendant in order to become skilled swimmers.
Ø Never to throw toys into the swimming pool because they may want to get them out and mistakenly fall into the water and drown.
Ø Let your kids understand that they should never dunk or dip other children into the water; it is a very risky act to attempt.
Ø As a parent or swimming coach, you should always concentrate on the activities of the children around and inside the pool to know when they are not playing safe, and call them to order.
These are good attitudes expected from any child that comes around the pool or beach to swim such as not bringing toys or bicycle to the beach or pool area, keeping away from the drains, and the child should not run around the beach or pool to prevent him from falling into the water unexpectedly.
The Instructions to Follow At the Swimming Area
Swimming on the beach or even the pool requires a lot of courage. Therefore, the child is advised not to swim away backward from the waves at the beach but should face it. This is necessary because the waves may hit him down, as he tries to escape back to the land. Additionally, he should not swim in the direction of the current rather move parallel to the shore and overcome it; he should not swim alone and too farther away from people in case he needs help.
Moreover, parents should ensure that their kids always wear lifejackets and water shoes to promote their safety in the water; and they should stay away from the jetties too.
Practicing Safe Behaviors in The Pool
These safe behaviors are intended to enhance safety and protect the child from unnecessary accidents and injuries due to carelessness at the pool.
v Avoid going to swim during the storm.
v Always go to the swimming pool with a friend.
v Never chew gum while you are swimming in the pool.
v Do not go to the pool and swim when it is dark, it is too risky.
v Avoid pretending to be drowning to cause confusion.
v Eat light food when you want to go swimming.
v Ensure that a lifeguard or an adult is handy and supervising you.
v The child should not swim in deeper waters more than his capability.
Every child needs to learn the basic swimming skills in order to stay safe and successful as a swimmer. There are various swimming skills such as:
· The kids will be able to swim for about 25 yards before leaving the pool.
· A child should be able to pull himself out of the water without the help of a lifeguard or using a ladder.
· Every child should be able to float or tread on water for about one minute.
· They can jump and go underwater and be able to swim back to the surface by themselves.
· Your children should know how to twist themselves in a circular movement in the water.
Protecting the Kids When They Are Swimming
There are various ways of protecting your children while they are swimming such as your ability to learn CPR procedures and use it to save a life if there is a crisis, do not allow them to play unsafe poolside games. Furthermore, avoid relying too much on swimming toys such as boogie board and swimming raft because they may float away or fall off from the children when they swim. Therefore, be vigilant and have emergency devices for rescuing people such as first aid kit and floatation devices.
The weather condition is another factor that you should monitor by ensuring the child stop swimming exercises if there is going to be a rainstorm. Warn the kids not to dip each other into the water to prevent choking. Engage the services of a lifeguard to direct the children in the pool and do not allow any child with medical conditions go swimming.
Watch Out For the Signs of Drowning
Drowning is a risk factor for swimming and no parent will want to watch his or her kids die in a pool or the beach. Here are some signs that will help you to detect when the child is about to drown, then, call the swimming pool attendants to help you.
Watch out for signs such as when the child shuts the eyes, gasping for breath or hyperventilating, head and mouth at the water level, the head is back with mouth wide open, whenever they are back floating, and their eyes are not focusing properly. Then, rush into the pool immediately to save your child or call the pool attendant for help and administer CPR.
Swimming Pool Maintenance and Childproofing
This is very important to enhance the safety of the kids whenever they go swimming. You should ensure that equipment needed to rescue drowning victims is handy. Additionally, remove toys from the poolside, furniture and other things like ladder should not be kept close to the pool too.
Cover the drains and ensure that no cords are kept carelessly around the pool to make a tripping and falling. Then, when the pool is not in use, endeavor to cover it.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation measures are very important for every parent to learn, as it will help to reduce deaths occurring due to drowning. CPR helps to support and maintain the flow of blood and oxygen to the main organs in the body while the patient waits for professional medical assistance. You can get the best training at the American Red Cross Society or contact your local hospital.
However, you can turn the child’s head to a particular side, as this will make the water come out of the nose and mouth. After this, return the child’s head to the normal position and call 911, if you know it is an emergency.
Swimming Games for Kids
Do you know that swimming is a form of entertainment? Yes, it is a type of entertainment and full of fun. Additionally, children like to play other games while they are swimming at the same time. They can play various games in the swimming pool or beach; in order to add to the fun, they are having already. Some of the games include octopus, atomic whirlpool, ping-pong balls, shark in the pool, dolphin races, and scavenger hunt.
The game of octopus is very interesting, as you get the players to swim from one end of the pool to another side. The octopus tries to catch them, and anyone that is caught will join it in the middle of the pool until everyone is tagged. At the end of this exercise, a very long line of players is formed in the pool, and that is called the octopus. When all the players have been tagged or maybe only a person is remaining, then, you can restart it again.
The Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt is a game where the players are made to collect a treasure out of the pool. Here, you can get a collection of various items such as dive toys, coins, and pool rings, and these objects can sink to the bottom of the pool. You can collect at least two of each item and toss them into the water, then; the players will group themselves into teams and each team will try to collect one of these items from under the water. The team that gets the object out first wins the game.
This game makes all the players be in a circle inside the water. Then, they begin by moving slowly, and faster continuously, until waves like a whirlpool are formed. As soon as this happens, you can easily float on the water and the waves will be spinning you around.
Ping Pong Balls
Here some ping pong balls are tossed into the water for the kids to catch them. They are very light objects, therefore, can float easily but they are very difficult to see. Moreover, if you want to make the game more interesting, you can put initials or marks on them and every player will have to locate their own inside the pool.
Shark in the Pool
Shark in the pool gives the children freedom to jump in and out of the water, as the shark tries catching them. Here, the person acting the role of the shark can wear fins, masks, and snorkel to appear like a fish in the water. The shark is allowed to tag them whenever they jump into the water and if it succeeds, that person will become “the shark”. Every player can only stay out of the water for ten seconds each time; this will allow the shark to easily catch someone.
This underwater race is also called submarine or mermaid races, whereby the kids compete to see who will swim the longest distance under the surface of the water. They will hold their breaths while undergoing this exercise until the end of the game.
You have learned about some of the best swimming games, are you ready to play them now? They are safe and full of fun; however, do not try anyone without the supervision of your lifeguard or parents.
Swimming can be a fascinating game full of fun. With proper training under the supervision of a lifeguard or the parents, a child will learn the intrigues and skills of swimming, as either a hobby or career. No parent will allow the child to be exposed to the risk of drowning; therefore, adequate preparation, protection, maintenance and childproofing of the pool facility is needed to enhance the safety of the kids during the exercise.
Above all, the act of saving lives at the risk of drowning using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a great skill that parents and especially, the lifeguards should learn in order to make it safer for the younger ones to enjoy the swimming games and exercises to the fullest.