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Learning to swim is a feat that many adults have never accomplished and while it is not essential to learn to swim, there are many reasons why the skill can be important – especially for a child. A child who has learned to swim has the confidence to attend pool parties, summer camp, and other special recreational activities involving water. More importantly, they are safer in and around the water.
You can help your child learn to swim by simply providing them with the opportunity and being supportive. If you are a strong swimmer and have access to a pool, you can teach a child to swim with patience and persistence. If you don’t swim, then consider enrolling your child in a class to learn to swim. Even if you can swim, you might still consider a class for your child. Many recreation centers and public pools offer classes taught by Red Cross certified swim instructors and some children respond better to instruction from someone other than their parent.
The following tips and suggestions can help you and your child in the endeavor to learn to swim:
The most important thing to provide a child who is learning to swim is a safe and secure water environment. Never allow a child who can’t swim into the water alone and never leave a child unobserved in the water. Follow all pool and water safety recommendations at all times. With practice and proper instruction, your child can learn to swim and will develop a skill that will last a lifetime.
This is a great article about the benefits of teaching kids to swim.
It makes it all safer and easier to also communicate to the child our natural good feelings for water. You may have seen video of the baby swim classes ...they love it! The "how to breathe safely in the water"-thing is instinctive, so the parent should encourage but not crowd the child, so the child can work on it with themselves.
I liked, especially, your reminder about safety.
Infant drownings happen in a flash ... even with a CPR trained person nearby, it may not be fast enough...stay right there with your little one, in the water.
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