How to Teach Children to Swim in Your New Swimming Pool
Aug 15, 2021
A few tips for how to teach your children to swim safely.
Swimming is a great life skill to master. Aside from being a hobby and sport, it can keep you safe in the water. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, child drownings have increased significantly in the past decade.
While swimming lessons may seem like the best solution, you can also take charge and progressively teach children to swim so they can gradually develop skills that can keep them safe in the water. If you have been thinking about installing a pool at home, this will be the perfect opportunity to help your little ones become comfortable in the water. To help you get started, here is a guide on how you can teach children to swim.
Tips to Teach Children to Swim
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you help your children learn to swim:
1. Prioritize Safety
As always, safety should be your top priority. Before you get started with any techniques, make sure you teach your child water safety rules. You can use visuals like photos or videos and show live demonstrations so your children can commit them to memory. Likewise, make sure they are wearing a fitted life jacket around the pool.
Additionally, when building your pool at home, make sure you have appropriate barriers like fences or gates to prevent your little ones from drowning. These barriers should be at a height that your children cannot reach and self-closing to ensure they are not left open. You can discuss your options with pool contractors to maximize safety.
2. Consider Possible Fears
If you notice your child is afraid of the water, it is important to address this first. One way would be through gradual immersion to let them get used to the water slowly. Start by letting them dip their toes in the pool then gradually building up to go deeper into the water. Give them as much time as they need to feel comfortable.
Another way would be to try to talk to your children and ask them where their fears come from. It may help you understand and think of more suitable ways to help them overcome their fear. If this does not work, you can seek counsel from your child’s doctor, a certified swim instructor, or a psychologist.
3. Incorporate Fun Activities
When teaching children how to swim, you do not need to stick to a rigid lesson plan. Aside from teaching them swimming strokes and other techniques, you also want them to learn how to enjoy the water. Thus, there is always room to incorporate some fun in your sessions.
Children particularly love to blow bubbles in the water, so you can do this to help them get used to the water. Another way to reduce their apprehensions is to let them wear goggles, so they feel secure about seeing underwater. Games like red light, green light will also help them have more fun in the pool.
Recommended Lessons per Age
Age is an important consideration in determining the best instructions to teach children to swim. Below is a guide that can help you teach your child based on the age they start. As always, before anything else, you should discuss your plans with your child’s pediatrician to ask about their readiness and competencies.
1 to 2 Years Old
If you plan to start teaching your child as early as after they turn one year old, the goal is mostly to get them acquainted with the water. Think of this as the “pre-learning” stage, which focuses on easing your child into the environment. Show them how to splash, so they can get used to the resistance of water.
With that, you have to stay close to your child at all times. Always keep them within arm’s length and make sure you do not submerge them at this age. Drowning can happen in as quick as 30 seconds, so you must not take your eyes off your child.
2 to 4 Years Old
At this point, your toddler will be more familiar with the water and may even want to explore on their own, but they should still not be left without constant supervision. You can start teaching them how to use their arms and legs, float on their back and stomach, and practice breathing control. It also helps to teach them how to blow bubbles in the water, so they learn how to put their face in the water without swallowing.
4 Years and Up
Once your child reaches this age, you can enroll them in formal swimming lessons or continue teaching them in your outdoor pool. Whatever you decide, your child will be ready to learn swimming strokes, how to float independently, and submerge their head for at least five seconds.
You can ease them into the process by starting with letting them hold the edge of the pool and slowly moving away. The idea is to gradually help them become more independent in the water and build their confidence in swimming.
Build a Custom Pool to Teach Your Child How to Swim Today
Want to teach children to swim from the comforts of your home? If so, building a pool will be the perfect solution. Work with custom pool builders, Like Larsen’s Pool & Spa, to build your dream pool right at home. Contact us at (727) 786-POOL (7665) to learn more about our services and to schedule a free consultation.