1 - Here are some tips on how to help your child with conquering a fear of swimming.
Whether you are going to be taking a trip to a warm climate or just bought a backyard pool, it is important to teach your children how to swim. But, what do you do if they have a fear of the water? Here are some tips on helping your child overcome a fear of swimming.
--First and foremost, NEVER leave your child unattended while in or near the water, especially a child that cannot swim. Do not rely on other children or even lifeguards: be safe, not sorry.
2 - That said, here are some tips:
--Start young with your children: buy a wading pool and let them splash around in it from the time they can sit up.
--Make bathtime fun and safe. This is often a child's first water experience. If they get water in their eyes or nose, or slip and fall, they are likely to have a bad first experience in the water.
3 - --Bring toddlers into the water by holding them close. Never, ever, tell them you will hold them and let them go under. Once they trust you will protect them in the water, they will begin to feel more at ease.
--Urge a reluctant toddler in by asking them to put their toe in first, then their legs, etc.
--Swimming lessons for children 3 or 4 and up are a great idea, but make sure you consider your child's temperament when choosing a class. Would they do better with private lessons? Would they relate better to a teen or would they feel more secure with an adult?
4 - --Make sure any class is a certified class and make sure the instructors know CPR.
--If your child is scared, keep asking them to go in, or try it, but do not pressure them. This will only make them rebel and then you will have a battle on your hands.
--Consider timing... don't schedule a lesson before naptime, or when they are hungry. A child's attitude and willingness are half the battle.
5- --Think twice about using arm flotations or inner tubes, this gives them a false sense of security. If that is the only way your child will get into the water, then use them but recognize that your child may have a hard time giving them up.
--Sometimes a child is scared because they worry 'what if I go under?' Or, 'What if I get water up my nose?' By explaining safety and technique, you will calm their fears.
6 - --Zero-Depth pools are a great way to get children accustomed to the water before they go in a "big pool."
--Point out other things they used to be scared of that now they enjoy, examples...getting their haircut, dogs, whatever fear they have overcome.
--If you still have a reluctant child, wait a few weeks or months and then try again. Most kids will eventually overcome their fears, it just may take time.
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