2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
It's no secret that children are naturally drawn to water! They must be sensitized from an early age to the pleasure and danger of water in order to teach them caution.
Never too early to learn to swim
From the age of three or four, since it is around this age that the child begins to acquire sufficient coordination to learn to swim, many services offer instruction in the basics of swimming and the main rules of water safety. Otherwise, from the age of 6 months, activities are offered to introduce children to the water, accompanied, of course, by their parents. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, “swimming lessons should be given by trained instructors, in pools that meet current standards for is design, maintenance, operation and infection control (to reduce the risk of hepatitis A, gastroenteritis, skin infections, etc.). »
With your young child, you will be able to share moments of complicity and pleasure, and contribute to his progressive adaptation to the aquatic environment, which will lead him gently towards autonomy. On the he alth side, theswimming is a gentle practice, whose movements in the water are done without resistance or shock waves. Thus, swimming brings many benefits to the musculature of the spine.
A few tips
- Respect your child's pace, fears and desires
- In learning, don't be abrupt and explore the water with your child through play and gradual discovery, in an encouraging and designed environment. Do it in fun!
- Reassure your child, encourage him, and try to create bonds of trust and complicity
Learning to swim doesn't happen all at once. It is a progressive learning, full of joys and anxieties, of which here are the stages:
According to any theory that refers to the gentleness of intrauterine aquatic gestation, the fear of water should not exist - it would therefore be transmitted by education. Of course, various progressions in the water are suggested to become familiar with the water; it is all the more important to constantly encourage the child and to congratulate him, whatever his results.
The best position for a child of five or six months is sitting, held under the buttocks or facing away from you. Note that swimming should not be too long. About ten minutes are enough, at the beginning, to avoid cooling. For the child over 6 months, it is suggested to hold it under the armpits. Then comes the agebuoys and floats… Depending on the age of the child and his level of adaptation, a few immersion exercises can help him get used to the water: blowing bubbles in the water, making go arms and legs, go search for "treasure" objects at the bottom of the water.
- It is important to take into account the dangers of hydrocution: a difference in temperature between the water and the ambient air could cause discomfort. It is also suggested to gently wet the young child before submerging them in the water.
- Beware of otitis externa, often called “swimmer's ear”. Water that remains in the external auditory canal after swimming is often responsible.
- Chlorine and s alt can irritate skin, especially in children prone to flare-ups of eczema (atopic dermatitis). Be sure to rinse your little one's skin of any chlorine and s alt residue after swimming. Applying moisturizer before swimming and after showering can also help.
2. The work of the arrow
Once more accustomed, the child can be taught, at a shallow depth, to lie on the water, so that he understands the concept and the feeling of floating. Whether with a parent, a friend or a board, he will learn to lie down and let himself be carried on the surface of the water. When ready to do so, the child can go alone, but under supervision, over short distances.
3. The flapping of the legs andinspiration
As soon as the child is able to lie down on the water, he can begin back work. But let's remember the main principle: play with your child by letting him lead the game. It is through play that he will learn to swim! Teach him to arch his torso in order to facilitate his flotation. Also teach him how to recover by tilting his body forward and straightening up. At first and until he gains confidence, support his head. Also emphasize regular breathing.
4. The different styles
When your child is more independent, he will be able to learn, with his family or during lessons and workshops, the backstroke, the front crawl and the breaststroke… Please note: according to the Canadian Pediatric Society, Children should be at least four years old before taking actual swimming lessons. »
Learning to swim is not enough to protect children from drowning. When we think about the safety of our little ones on the edge of the lake or the swimming pool, no device or safety device can replace adult supervision! Children from under five are very attracted to water and are unaware of the potential dangers, hence the importance of never leaving them alone near water or in water. A Lifesaving Society report states that “50% of children under five were alone when they drowned. » Armbands, buoys and personal flotation devices do not ward off hazards and mayprovide a false sense of security… The main cause of drowning in swimming pools being their too easy access, reduce the risks by enclosing yours. Also, avoid letting objects float in the pool and take the large multicolored ball out of the water after swimming and playing - this will limit unnecessary temptations!
According to the Lifesaving Society, the majority of children who drown do so unnoticed:
- They usually don't call for help;
- the position of the body is straight and upright;
- they perform vigorous sideways and forward movements;
- they have their heads tilted back and directed towards the source of help;
- their faces and eyes express panic
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