As soon as both my girls were old enough we enrolled them into baby swimming lessons. I am sure many people wondered why, I mean babies are expensive enough and here we were spending more money for them to splash about in some water. But there is more to baby swimming lessons than playing about in the water.
Swimming is the only sport that can also save your life. Drowning is still one of the most common causes of accidental death in children. Water is all around us in everyday life: a garden pond or paddling pool, a river or lake at a park, or a swimming pool in a holiday villa. It only takes a moment for you to take your eyes off your child near one of these and they could fall in. Baby swimming helps your child learn the skills that could save their life. Nothing could be more important to me.
From an early age, they are taught to turn in the water, get back to the side and hold on. At times it was upsetting for me to see them crying because they didn’t want to be dropped into the water. But they were safe doing this, and I kept telling myself that this was a crucial skill to learn. And before long the tears stopped, and they would jump in themselves – usually laughing as they did so. Most importantly when they were in the water they would turn round, swim back to the side and hold on. Those skills had become so embedded that they did it instinctively.
So five years on, my eldest is still attending swimming lessons. However, now I don’t go into the water with her. I sit on the side and watch her. I am constantly amazed by her confidence in the water and so incredibly proud of her as I watch her now swimming 10 metre lengths. She has come such a long way in those five years. I feel reassured by the life-saving skills she has acquired and happy that she has found a sport that she enjoys, that gives her an entry into other water-sports and that is getting her fitter.
You can find out more about Karen and read her blogs.
RoSPA's advice on water safety for under 5s.
Disclaimer: Views expressed on this blog are those of the writer and do not represent official RoSPA policy.
Posted: 9/22/2016 3:06:47 PM