If you can swim yourself — or maybe even if you can’t — you can teach your child to swim! And if you have your own backyard swimming pool, you’ll have ample opportunities to do just that. Like other life skills, swimming needs to be taught one step — or one splash — at a time, starting with some key basic skills. Don’t worry: it’s probably not as difficult as you think. Before we get into the skills you’ll want to teach your child, here’s an overview of some basic equipment you’ll want to consider purchasing before you begin.
Recommended Equipment for Young Children
Of course, safety is a significant concern when teaching young children to swim. Infants and toddlers require flotation devices that allow them to freely move their legs. Even an infant can learn to kick his or her legs and safely stay afloat with the face out of the water with a product like this one on Amazon.
For older toddlers and preschool-aged children, providing support without restricting arm movements is key. Inflatable arm bands have the benefit of being able to be adjusted to provide varying levels of buoyancy, enabling the child to move from dependence to independence as his or her skill level and confidence increase. On the down side, inflatable options are subject to springing leaks.
Swim vests such as this one on Amazon are different from life jackets used for boating in that they allow for unrestricted movement of arms and legs while offering the benefit that the floats may be removed one at a time.
Equipment for Emerging Swimmers
For children over 5 years of age who have progressed to have confidence in the water, a swim noodle or swim fin can combine with the child’s natural buoyancy and swimming ability while still providing a measure of support. Pool noodles are popular options that can provide support for beginner swimmers of any size or age. Giving a sense of independence along with support, swim noodles can help boost a beginner swimmer’s confidence while still allowing freedom of movement. They can, however, cause extremely buoyant swimmers to tip forward, and for nervous swimmers, they can be positioned in such a way that movement is unnecessarily limited.
Another option that provides many of the same benefits of the swim noodle is a swim fin. With the added benefit of encouraging correct body position and allowing complete freedom of movement for both arms and legs, the swim fin can also be used along with other swimming aids.
The most important piece of equipment for teaching your child to swim is, of course, a swimming pool. But you already have that covered, right?!
Continue reading with Part 2.
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Source cited: https://www.swim-teach.com/teaching-a-child-to-swim.html#first
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