Summer is on the horizon, and families throughout the United States are
making exciting plans to head to beaches, lakes, rivers and pools. If
you haven’t already done so, prioritize teaching water safety to
your children to help them avoid a drowning or near-drowning accident.
What should you do, however, if your little one doesn’t want to get
in the water or if he or she is afraid to learn how to swim? Here are
three tips for teaching reluctant children how to be safe around the water
- Start before summer swim time arrives.
You can start teaching babies and toddlers about water and water safety
in the bathtub. A “parent and me” baby or toddler swim class
can also help show young ones that water is fun. Choose a class that emphasizes
safety, not skills: your child should learn how to pop back to the surface,
back-float, and get to the side of the pool. Conrad Cooper, a swimming
instructor based in Los Angeles who specializes in teaching water-timid
children basic pool safety skills also offers this potentially
counterintuitive advice: “Learning to swim does not have to be fun. It is knowing how to
swim that is fun. The learning process is often difficult and learning
to swim is a process. It must involve breath control, propulsion and floating.
The combination of these skills provides most children with the necessary
skills to save his or her life.”
- Introduce life jackets gently and gradually.
Make life jackets an essential whenever your children are near open water.
Introduce the idea by keeping the kids’ life jackets in their bedroom
or play area and helping them try them on and wear them around the house.
- Encourage your child to come into the water with you, but don’t push it.
Throwing your child in the pool or lake is a good way to turn them off
and to impair their ability to learn water safety. Instead, use gentle
“peer pressure” by bringing your child along where other children
are having fun in the water. Let them know they can always ask for you
to come with them, but don’t push. Praise them for “baby steps”
they take, like playing near the shoreline or wading.
Please get in touch with our
Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys
today to explore how you can obtain fair compensation and justice in your