Tips for Teaching Your Child How to Swim

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Teaching your child to swim is a skill that will benefit him throughout his whole life. Whether at the pool or at a beach, it will help to increase his awareness and keep him safer. But when can you start teaching them the basics of swimming? The answer is: the sooner, the better! Follow these simple guidelines to help your child slowly acclimate to the water and learn to swim.

Get Him Used to the Water Slowly

You can do this with an infant or a toddler. Keeping your child in your arms at all time, get him used to playing in the water. Teach him how to splash and play games. This will show him that the water can be fun and that he doesn't need to be afraid. Don't try to submerge your child in the water until he is at least 3 years old. Submersion before then can result in an excess of water being swallowed, causing serious problems with baby's respiratory system.

Teach Him to Float

Once your child is a bit older, around 1 or 2, you can begin to teach him how to float. Gently hold him in your arms and show him how to float on his tummy and back. You can also begin practicing blowing bubbles. This will prepare him to go under the surface without breathing in water.  At this age, it's extremely important to never leave your child alone around water. It only takes 30 seconds for children to drown. Also, be sure not to use water wings and inflatable toys. It can give kids a false sense of security around water.

Teach Him the Basics

Once the basics of floating have been established, teach your child to kick his legs. Always keep your child within arms distance. But, you can now begin to help your child swim without assistance. The more advanced strokes and diving will come with time. Make sure all swimming is still done in the shallow area of the pool. If he has a fear of putting his face in the water, try practicing at home. Placing his face in the water during bath time can help him to overcome his fear. You can also have him put his face under the showerhead to slowly acclimate himself to the feeling. Above all, be patient with your child. One day he might be ecstatic about pool time while the next may be terrifying.

Teach Him to Be Safe

Most importantly, teach your child the safety rules of swimming. Make sure he understands that he must always have someone with him while swimming, especially at a lake or at the beach. There should always be adult supervision and he should never venture into deeper water than he is comfortable with.

With these simple tips and tricks, your child will be comfortable in the water and swimming like a fish in no time!

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