With the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s important to make sure your little ones are safe in and around the pool, says Laura Molloy
1. Use bath time to introduce your little one to water, encourage play and build their confidence with toys and songs.
2. Pool visits should be fun for youngsters, so don’t expect too much from them, allow them to develop at their own pace. Encourage water play to build their confidence and once you think they’re ready, introduce some basic skills, still using play.
3. If you’re not confident about teaching your child to swim, look into a local course or class. These can provide some great techniques to practice with your child, with the security of a qualified teacher to support you.
4. Kids love to swim with their parents – for early swimmers, try to use holds in the water that will give you eye contact with your little one.
5. Try to maintain a routine whenever you get into the pool with your child, this will help them feel settled and happier to try new things gradually as part of the session.
6. Try to recognise when your child doesn’t want to swim – for example, after school they may be tired. Try to fit swimming into a schedule that works for them.
7. Remember the core skills and repeat them at each pool visit. Encourage strong leg kicks and arm action – but do not do this for more than seven minutes at a time. Have a rest and play for a while. Repetition is key to the success of these skills.
8. Babies and children love swimming and will be naturally drawn to the water, but do be aware of the inherent dangers and always be vigilant around even the most confident of swimmers.
Laura Molloy is the founder of Swimbabes