This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received products to facilitate my review.
Memorial Day weekend, otherwise known as the “unofficial” start to summer is around the corner. And we all know what this means: more time spent outdoors to have fun and splash about in the pool or at the beach!
So now that my 2 and 4 year-old have comfortably mastered basic pool and water safety, it’s time to kick it up a notch and help them actually learn to swim. Personally, I like the idea of introducing kids to the water as early as possible for safety reasons…because we all know how curious babies and toddlers are!
Did you know that according to the CDC, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-14? As a mom to small children, that is a frightening statistic!
So what better time than the present to start educating kids about water safety, especially with National Learn to Swim Day a few days away (on May 21st!). This day (started by SwimWays in 2012!) serves as a reminder to parents and caregivers to promote water safety and raise awareness about the invaluable lesson of swimming — because it could literally save their lives!
To get our little ones ready to swim, we are focusing on the 5 key areas below, this summer.
1. Start in shallow water.
I know how intimidating a large in-ground pool may appear to a toddler who is just “getting their feet wet” when it comes to pool safety. So don’t overwhelm them. Start teaching little ones to swim in shallow water, so they can reach the ground with their feet. This will both help them feel more comfortable, and also help thwart any fears of going under without mommy or daddy to save them!
2. Practice kicking.
Because kicking is such a crucial skill for swimming, you can help kids master this skill by sitting them at the pool’s edge and letting them go at it. Then they can easily practice those skills in the water with some support.
This might not be a baby or toddler’s favorite part, but it’s one they will have to practice if they are truly learning to swim. When we first took our now 4 year-old to beginner swim classes, they would have each child jump into the water for a 1 or 2 seconds to learn to manage their breathing. You’ll want to practice full submergence with your kids so they will learn to hold their breath underwater.
4. Teach them to float.
Have your child lay on their backs across your outstretched arms. Support their body in the water and encourage them to relax and stretch out their arms and legs. This will take lots of practice, but focusing on making them feel comfortable and relaxed will help them learn to float, which is an essential part of learning to swim.
5. Use a quality float.
To really hone in on any area or skill required to learn to swim, you’ll want to make sure you have a reliable swim float that will help your baby and toddler practice water skills in a safe, confined space…because for most kids, making that full transition from kiddie pool to swimming pool is naturally going to take some time.
One float that I’ve seen moms everywhere use AND one that we are happy to own is the SwimWays Baby Spring Float — the single best float on the market today!
This brightly-colored float is amazing and perfect for beginner swimmers for so many reasons!
For starters, it helps support babies 9 months to 24 months to stay comfortable and happy in place. It also provides the added support babies need as they practice balancing, kicking and paddling.
As a parent, I love the fabric-covered inflation for maximum durability and know my child will sit comfortably in the mesh seat. The float also has a removable canopy for sun protection.
The float has a low center of gravity, safety valves and separate air chambers to ensure security at all levels. For floating reliability, the Baby Float includes a sewn-in patented inner spring around the outer edge for stability while in the water.
You can purchase the Baby Spring Float and other SwimWays products at ToysRUs.
Anything I missed? How are you getting your kids ready for the pool this summer?
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.