Over the last few weeks, I’ve met quite a few adults that have told me they cannot swim. Every time I hear that I am always so shocked. When I ask them ‘why?’ their usual response is ‘I’ve just never learnt’. But one particular person I spoke to, told me ‘my parents were too busy, there is so many life lessons a child needs to learn and swimming is just one that they never taught me to do’.
Oh wow! I didn’t even know how to respond, which is why it has brought me to write a post on this.
Teaching your child to swim should be one of the most, if not the most important life lesson
Drowning is still one of most common causes of accidental death in children and swimming is the only sport that can save your child’s life. I cannot express how important it is that your child learns to swim.
Swimming not only can save your child’s life but swimming is also an amazing form of exercise because you have to move your whole body against the resistance of the water. It builds muscle strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness which can be so good for children in the long term.
Traveling the world, I come into contact with so much water and after becoming a qualified lifeguard I am always switched on in my surroundings. There has been more than one occasion I have been sat around the pool at hotels and beaches with my NK’s and I have had to rescue other children that have slipped off the step or got into difficulty because they couldn’t swim.
Incidents like this happen so often and young children are especially at risk – they can drown in less than 2inchs (6cm) of water. They can drown is places you would least expect it; toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, sink, and small bodies of water like where rain has fallen and created a puddle on the ground.
I am appealing to you parents! If your child is able to learn to swim then please make it one of your priorities to get your child swimming. Any children over the age of 4 should learn to swim, but also children as young as 6 months are able to get in the water and could benefit from it, but check with your doctor first.
If you don’t have time to teach your children to swim, get someone to do it for you and enroll them in lessons.
It’s also a good idea to make them water wise. Talk about the water, about where is safe for them to go and where isn’t. Children should learn what is good behavior around a pool to prevent any slips or accidents. Let children know that they should contact a lifeguard or an adult if there’s an emergency.
Although no child is safe around water unsupervised whether they can swim or not, they are still at risk of drowning. Knowing your child can swim surely is so much better for your peace of mind than if they couldn’t. Any infants, toddlers and weak swimmers should have an adult swimmer within arm’s reach to provide supervision.
These are the facts!
In the time it takes to….
- Cross a room for a towel (10 seconds), a child in a bathtub can be submerged.
- Answer the phone (2 minutes), a child can lose consciousness.
- Sign for a package at the front door (4-6 minutes), a child submerged in a tub or pool can sustain permanent brain damage
Water safety and hiring a Nanny…
If you are planning on hiring a Nanny or hosting an Aupair, I suggest you ensure that the person you hire is a strong swimmer. Your child will be around water every day; meaning they drink it, play in it, wash in it or are learning to swim.
Families that travel extensively, have boats, live by the beach or own a pool are especially at risk of fatal accidents with children. I am sure you would not want the guilt on your shoulders if your child got into difficulty swimming and the person caring for your child couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything to help them, because they themselves were scared of the water.
It is so important that if you are wanting to leave your child in the care of someone else, they should be able to swim.
It takes as little as 20 seconds for a child to drown and not only are toddler drownings quick, they are usually silent. Most children do not yell for help.
Swimming is such a fun sport and activity, it is a skill you will have for life and something you will never forget. Swimming is something that could take a few months to learn but something that will benefit you your entire life. Swimming is really fun but if not taken seriously then can be dangerous.
PLEASE TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO SWIM AND PLEASE SUPERVISE THEM AT ALL TIMES!