How to get your baby comfortable and safe around your swimming pool
29 Mar How to get your baby comfortable and safe around your swimming pool
Pool Safety: How to Help Your Baby Get Comfortable in the Water
Swimming pool safety training should begin in infancy; the more comfortable your baby is in the water, the earlier she will learn to swim. Though no child should be in or near your swimming pool without an alert adult supervising, your child’s ability to swim could be a critical factor if an accident does occur. Helping your baby get comfortable in the water also provides relaxing, playful time in the pool that you and your child will enjoy.
Many babies love bath time, so you can help your baby extend those positive feelings to the pool by bathing him outside in an infant bathtub when the weather is mild. Gently splash the water to mimic the movement of water in the pool. Show him toys and speak lightly and positively about how much fun it is to be in the water.
When you think your child is ready, take her into the pool in your arms. Continue talking to her about swimming in a positive, supportive tone. Add a baby float activity center to your time in the swimming pool when your child is old enough to sit up. Never let anyone splash your child in the face or roughhouse near her when she’s in the pool. If your baby does become frightened of the water, speak soothingly to her; you may have to leave the pool to do this, but try to sit near it until she is calm. Your baby takes her cues about the water from you, so she needs to see that you feel confident in and near the water.
Swimming lessons are the next step in this process. Even very young children can learn to float, which could save your child’s life if he falls into a swimming pool. Swimming lessons also offer your child a chance to socialize with other children his age who are learning to love and respect the water. Your child’s swimming instructor can give you tips on swimming pool safety that your whole family can use. A puddle jumper swim trainer will allow your child the chance to play in the water with some degree of independence as he learns to swim.
As your child grows, allow her more freedom in the water, but always provide close supervision. Children can tire very quickly when playing in the pool, so no matter how good a swimmer she is, she’s never ready to play in the pool without an adult present. Watch for rough water play as well; children playing water games can inadvertently cause injuries that cause a child to choke and panic.
Swimming pools can be dangerous places for children, especially if they are not comfortable in the water and don’t know how to swim. Although there is no substitute for alert adult supervision when your child is in or around your pool, making your family pool a friendly place from infancy can help ensure your child’s safety and provide him with years of participation in a fun, healthy recreational activity.