6 Swimming Pool Rules To Teach Your Child

Does your child know how to swim? It is an essential life skill that can benefit his health and also, keep him safe. But, there are certain rules to follow before taking the plunge.

By Varsha Venkatesh

6 Swimming Pool Rules To Teach Your Child

It is no secret that many children love being in and around water. Whether it is a swimming pool or a beach, children are instinctively drawn to water. However, there are certain precautions to take and rules for children to follow, before splashing about. To begin with, teaching children how to swim is essential and will ensure their safety. 

But that is not the only benefit that swimming provides. Swimming also helps stimulate the senses of young children and enhances brain and emotional development. It makes them strong and flexible, and increases stamina. Learning to swim also means that children can try a range of other water-based activities.

Introduce your child to swimming early on so that this life skill and it's benefits will always be with them. It is not only a fantastic sport to maintain physical health, it also improves the quality of life. 

Swimming and children

According to Siddharth C, a lifeguard and a swimming coach from Chennai, “It is natural for your child to be anxious about staying afloat. It is crucial to take a gradual and loving approach while getting your child to practise swimming skills. This is because children must enjoy being in the water in order to overcome their fears.”

Know that your child may need some help initially in learning to feel comfortable in the water. Older children tend to develop fears or preconceptions regarding breathing and buoyancy. So, it may be challenging for them to learn and enjoy swimming techniques.

Swimming rules to teach your child

  1. Wear appropriate gear: Invest in a proper well-fitting swimsuit. Semi-synthetic materials that dry quickly are preferable. Avoid cotton as it tends to retain water and become heavy. Caps and goggles should be worn to protect the eyes and hair from chlorine. After a swim, it is advisable to shower.
  2. Come prepared: Carry your towels, change of clothes, and have bags for wet clothes. After every lesson, a child should drink and eat something healthy. Swimming can really work up a child’s appetite.
  3. Supervise and teach safety: Never allow a child to venture into any water body without adult supervision. Before enrolling your child in swimming lessons, ensure the pool has a lifeguard, who is trained to perform first aid and CPR.
  4. Never force: Encourage the child to become comfortable and confident inside the water. Allow him to ease into swimming rather than learn out of fear. Siddharth C says: "Parents can begin by making the child sit on the edge of the pool with his feet dangling. After some time, the child will want to get into a depth where he can stand. The next step will be to trickle some water over the child, and gradually encourage him to submerge his face."
  5. Try to swim along with the child: It is always better when a parent is also swimming alongside the child so that she is relaxed. When your child sees that her parents are comfortable inside the pool, she will feel reassured and safe. She can then have fun while swimming.
  6. Follow safety rules: Different pools have their own rules, so it is good to be aware of and follow them diligently. Some common pool etiquette include: no splashing, no pushing, no diving and maintaining lanes while swimming. Pools can get really crowded during swimming class.
  7. Maintain hygiene: Make sure your child is toilet-trained before enrolling him in swimming lessons. Also, encourage him to use the bathroom before entering the pool. Don’t send your child to class if he is sick. Remember, classes can always be rescheduled.

Swimming is not just fun for children of all ages, but also keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy. Once your child gains confidence in the water, they can enjoy beach vacations with family and friends or swimming camps in summer. What's more, your child will love water sports like surfing, stand up paddling, kayaking and sailing or even, taking a dip in the community well or river in your home town. 

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