Hi guys! I’m super excited to introduce a guest blogger today, Kaitlin from An Apple Per Day. She’s here to talk about swim lessons and pool safety, topics all us parents should be aware of. It has definitely inspired me to sign the girls up for lessons. Getting them out of these floaties someday without having to worry will be an amazing accomplishment.
Be sure to check out Kaitlin’s site for all kinds of helpful information from health, to exercise, to green living. It’s a wonderful resource!
For now, enjoy her post!
Since my two boys were born, it seems like my weeks fly by – there’s always plenty to do. But we’d like to own a house with a pool someday, and we want to go for vacations to the beach, so I put swim lessons high on my list of things to accomplish. I researched the best way to teach my boys to swim, and gathered some great information.
Safety around the water. I was at a back yard party one time, and saw a small child fall into the pool. There were plenty of adults around, and fortunately someone quickly got the child out. But I’ve never forgotten that incident. I discovered that one of the biggest causes of unintentional deaths for small children was from drowning. It firmed my resolve to get swim lessons for my sons. For more information, here are some great resources:
Start early. I didn’t think waiting until my boys were the proper age, and then just signing them up for lessons was the way to handle things – it could be just too much at once, being around a pool and a large group of kids in a swim lesson environment. So I began very early to orient my sons to the water. We had to take baths anyway, so I used that time to reinforce the water as a positive place to be. I smiled and laughed a lot, and taught them the fun of things like splashing water. Trickling a little water over their foreheads showed them how gentle and nice water could be.
Mommy and Me. It is suggested that by the time a child is 6 months old, they can be signed up for introductory classes like Mommy and Me, to let them get used to the pool. I did that with my older son, and he naturally took to the whole experience. I had checked to find a teacher with a child development background, and she tailored the classes to the comfort levels of the children. My boy was fascinated by all the other babies and Mommys, and he was laughing and smiling through the whole experience.
The hesitant child. My younger boy was a lot slower to feel comfortable around the water. I could see him being a scientist some day, because he wants to observe and check out everything. Even in the bathtub, it took him a lot longer to decide it was alright. I thought the stimulation of the Mommy and Me class would be too much for him, so we did what the teacher from the class suggested. I recruited my husband to sit next to the pool holding my son, while I went in the water and laughed and splashed a lot. Finally he decided he’d seen enough and reached out for me. Since then, he has fallen in love with being in the water.
Formal lessons. The experts are now suggesting children can be enrolled in introductory lessons at around 4 years old, and the classes where they begin to learn swim strokes at around 6 years of age. I had checked out several classes, and found one that used a solid learning plan, with a very professional instructor, who made every child demonstrate proficiency before they moved on. There aren’t endless chances for bonding with my children, so I watched their classes. Seeing their excitement the first time they jumped off the diving board, or learned a new stroke, was a blessing for me.
I watch my boys playing in the water with their friends, and it just makes me smile. By having them take lessons, I have provided them with a way to safely enjoy the water, and it will benefit them for a lifetime.
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.