Swimming can be especially appealing to children and more parents are interested to know more about kids swimming. Not only is it a low impact sport that can help create a unique athletic outlet for your kids, but it also helps to keep them active, promoting a fun-filled environment and individual achievement. Just as we all know that a sedentary life can be a recipe for destruction, swimming can, therefore, help to keep unnecessary healthy issues at bay.
Training and encouraging your child to swim can have a huge impact on his health, social and mental activity. Every good sport has its own challenges and trust me; this low impact sport is no exception. According to kidshealth.org, accidental drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children between ages 1 – 14.
All hope is not lost; your kids can still derive maximum benefit from the sport without harming themselves, but how? Should you even encourage them to swim? How can you teach them to swim and follow the necessary safety measures to avoid the dreaded situations? The answers to these questions are just a few lines away.
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The Benefits of Swimming for Kids
Still contemplating whether you should encourage or teach your kids how to swim? Well, not after you have finished reading this article. Kids’ swimming has a lot of benefits, which include:
Kids Swimming Safety
Can you ever cure poison with a poison? Impossible right? But not when it comes to swimming. Since drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children, most parents would feel it is unreasonable to encourage their child to swim to avoid accidental drowning. Preventing your child from harm is your responsibility, but what do you do if your kid accidentally gets pulled into the water or falls into an unguarded pool?
How will you avoid your most dreaded situation?
Your kids will learn how to be safe around water, gain valuable experience and become a better swimmer when you teach them how to swim.
This knowledge and experience will greatly reduce the risk of an emergency when there is an accident and might also be helpful in saving other kids from drowning.
Swimming is a low impact exercise that reduces shock on the joints and comes with a lower risk of muscle injury. It helps to improve kids’ flexibility, balance, strength and stamina while promoting the health of their heart and lungs. Additionally, it helps to prevent serious health issues like childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Mental and Emotional Health
Teaching and encouraging your kids to swim can have a significant impact on his mental and emotional health. Swimming is fun and relaxing, and this can help combat depression and improve your child’s mood. Not only would your child have fun and develop lifelong friendships while swimming, but you would also be happy watching your kids thriving and achieving measurable goals.
Self-esteem and Time Management
The nature of swimming makes it easy for kids to learn they have not the time to waste. And by learning new skills, improving their abilities and achieving quantifiable goals, our kids will earn self-confidence that will serve them well – even after they outgrow their age groups year.
Teaching Your Child How to Swim
Now that you know how swimming is beneficial to the physical, mental and emotional health of a child, the next thing you want to do is to teach your kids how to swim. It is important to know that every child is different, so also the teaching approaches.
Teaching a child the correct way to swim is all about getting him to master the strokes, breathing and kicking but this could be an uphill battle if the child is fearful.
You’ll have to calm him down and get him to focus and trust in you while you guide him through. When it comes to teaching and encouraging your kids to swim, the tips below will help you achieve your goals.
Give them instructions in a clear and direct manner. Avoid slang and use the language the kids can easily understand.
Be consistent. Get your kids to master a skill at a time through repetitive practice. This will enhance their learning.
Introduce changes and new skills slowly. Draw a lesson plan that would benefit your child and follow it strictly.
Celebrate every new achievement and triumphs; this would go a long way to encourage your kid.
Allow your kids to explore the water, give them the freedom. However, this shouldn’t be done in your absence. You have to be there always to supervise and ensure their safety.
You can follow online guides or the professional advice above to teach your children how to swim. However, this may not be the best way to go If you are not a good swimmer yourself, or always having a busy schedule at work. Your best bet is to find a professional instructor and enroll your kids in swim lessons to teach them the best swimming practices.
Kids Swimming Safety Precautions
The following tips will help you avoid the disaster that comes with swimming, ensuring your safety and that of your kids.
Assess the health of the child before swimming.
Check the temperature of the water before you plunge in. Cold water can increase the heart rate and blood pressure of your child. It can shock his body, and this can make him open his mouth to yell – accidentally breathing in some water in the process.
Introduce him to the water slowly, teach him how to float, tread water and stay on the shore.
Kids should only swim in areas selected for swimming. Teach them that swimming in a pool is different from swimming in open water. Let them be aware of the changing weather, river currents, uneven surfaces and ocean undertow.
Don’t depend on swimming aids. Swimming aids like noodles, water wings, and other air-filled flotation devices can be helpful and fun for a child, but they can leak and result in accidental drowning. Instead, rely on the U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest or flotation device.
Teach your kids to obey the rules and regulation of swimming. Eating or chewing gum should be avoided while swimming –call on the lifeguard in case of an emergency.
Do not allow your kids into the pool without an adult to monitor and supervise them. Always lock the gate around the pool to keep your children away from the waters when there’s no adult or lifeguard around to supervise them. You can install a window or door alarm to alert you if your kids go near the pool area without supervision.
Check the pool regularly, ensure that the drain covers are not loose, broken, missing or cracked.Inform your kids about the risk of drain entrapment and entanglement and educate them not to swim or play near suction outlets or drains.
Learn CPR and have your kids learn it too. This skill can serve them for a lifetime.
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I hope the information contained in this article has opened your eyes to the importance of kids swimming, and how to avoid sabotaging your good intentions. It is high time you put what you learned into action and encourage your kids to swim and rip its benefits. However, water safety should be your watchword. By simply following the tips and safety precaution on this post, your kids can now have fun while you kiss your worries and ugly situations goodbye.
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