Teach your kid how to swim
We all know how hot Malaysia can get, and what better way to cool down that to splash around in a swimming pool? Here's a guide to teach your little one how to enjoy swimming, so that the whole family can have a great time cooling down in the water together.
Here are a few tips on how to swim that could give you and your child a safe and enjoyable experience with rewards that would last a lifetime.
Teach your kid how to swim #1. Safety The most crucial thing to remember is to keep your child safe. Never leave them unsupervised even if they are at hands reach distance. It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown even in the shallowest water. Ask them to adhere to swim safety rules. Be prepared in case of emergencies by taking classes in CPR and life-saving techniques.
Teach your kid how to swim #2. A suitable environment Ensure the water temperature is warm. Ideal water temperature maintained should be between 31-32°C, say experts. Shivering and blue lips make for less effective learning. Also distractions, excessive noise or stimulus in the environment inhibits learning.
Teach your kid how to swim #3. Patience For a child, learning to swim is a huge milestone. Try and make it a pleasant experience. Don’t throw or force a child into learning sooner than they are ready. Each child progresses differently. It could take a few sessions for adults, more than a month for children while for toddlers it might take longer.
Teach your kid how to swim #4. Trust Building trust with the child in the water is essential for them to gain confidence. Remember unlike other sports, while learning to swim, your kid fears drowning. Assure your child that you are not going to leave their side and stick to your promise.
Teach your kid how to swim #5. For babies Infants above the age of 6 months can be taken in the water. Make it a fun experience and keep the water nice and warm for the little ones. Babies lose body heat up to four times faster than adults. A 20-minute water session is a good limit. Learn special submersion methods for babies so they don’t ingest chlorinated water.
Teach your kid how to swim #6. Right swimming aids Invest in a good pair of swim cap, non-leaky goggles and a comfortable swim suit. Buy good quality accessories, like Speedo’s for children. Ask your child to try them on before buying so they fit well. They can focus on their swim as water stays off their eyes and ears. Avoid Floaties as these actually retard a child’s swimming progress. Using them develops a bent leg kick among kids. Child moves further down under water as they kick same way after taking it off. Children who have never used floaties tend to be less afraid to swim than the ones who have.
Teach your kid how to swim #7. Get to the Ground basics
Cues - Whenever going under water or jumping inside, cuing is key to prepare them to jump. Cue your child ‘Ready’ - when he repeats back, ‘ready’ call out - ‘1, 2, 3 Jump’ or ‘go’. Cueing is very effective to help develop trust, ease and grace in your child’s learning.
Smooth submersion - When taking a child to breath under water or getting them back up to the surface, do so smoothly. A child can hold their breath easily for at least 5-7 seconds.
Breath underwater - First teach them to blow bubbles through the nose on the surface of the water. With ample practice they can blow bubbles when submerged under water too. Count along with them - A thousand one… a thousand two …a thousand three…and so on while submerged. Mastering breathing under water, makes swimming effortless.
Jumps - Teach jumps in the medium depth of the pool, neither too deep nor too shallow. Ensure ‘Toes on the edge’ before jumping so the child has good footing of the side. Hold hands for beginners; progressively move to holding only one hand, eventually with no hands and more distance.
Teach your kid how to swim #8. Make learning fun and playful For younger kids with short attention span water toys work wonders. Fun games keep the lesson lively. Enthusiasm breeds learning. Sing a song while teaching babies or show them a trick. Soldier – Monkey - Rocket is a fun way to teach kids how to swim an elementary backstroke. This gets the kids to ease their tension and grasp faster.