Introducing swimming skills to toddlers is critical for their development. Whether you are looking to prepare your child for fun summer days, or to be prepared in case of emergency, it’s a smart move. Unfortunately, drowning is the top cause of death among children. When first starting, the top skills you can teach your toddlers are getting in and out safely, floating, and breathing.
Getting In and Out Safely
According to The Joyfilled Mom, the first thing you need to do with your child is introduce them to the water. Let your child play in the water and get comfortable with having it at their feet. Part of getting comfortable with the water includes getting comfortable with the rest of the surroundings. Teach your child how to get in and out safely, using the wall and proper entrances/exits. Your children need to keep in mind that with wet surfaces, things can get slippery and dangerous. Teach them to walk slowly and observe what is going on around them for optimal safety.
According to SwimJim, you can’t drown-proof a child, but you can teach them skills that can help them stay safe. Floating is an excellent skill for helping your child stay safe. Start by having them hold onto the edge of the pool laying on their back. Keep your arms under them and support them as they become comfortable with the vulnerable position. Teach your child how to hold air in their tummy to help increase their buoyancy. This skill will help them stay safe and eventually learn to swim with better awareness of their body and its capabilities.
Breathing Through Water
You want to help your child enjoy their experience in the water. Playing fun games with toys or rings in the water helps them to associate positive feelings with the water. Games also help your child learn how to breathe through the water. They need to learn that they can’t inhale when submerged. According to VeryWell Family, you should start by teaching them to blow bubbles into the water. This will help them develop the habit of blowing out instead of in to avoid harmful situations.
Teaching kids to swim sets the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle. Working with them from a young age will help familiarize them and create positive experiences for years to come. More importantly, it teaches them valuable safety skills that come in handy at the pool, in a river, and even at home in the tub.
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