Swimming is a very fun and exciting activity/sport to learn. Although it is enjoyable it requires much supervision. Teaching water safety is a vital piece of learning for every human, especially our younger babies and toddlers. My husband and I introduce our daughter Iyah, to the water to swim at an early age. She was about 4 months. We started her in swim lessons around 12 months, which she still attends now at 22 months! She enjoys the water, but learning safety for her and us as parents has been our driving force!
There is a ton of water safety tips and information over the internet. I actually found some great tips from Centers of Control, (CDC) website that I have provided below. Toddlers should learn early about water safety, whether they take swimming classes or not.
According to the CDC, children between 1-4 years of age have the highest drowning rates. Drowning is very preventable and toddlers are capable of learning the basics of water safety, including skills they can use to save themselves should they accidentally fall into a pool. Here are some tips for teaching toddlers water safety:
- Asking permission.
Toddlers must understand that they are not to go into a pool or play in water without asking Mommy and Daddy first. Discuss this with them, explain the dangers involved, and emphasize the importance of asking permission to go into the water. Even very young children can be effectively taught this lesson.
This is the most important skill toddlers can use to be safer in the water: if a child falls into a pool accidentally, having the ability to roll over and float to breathe and call out could be the difference between life and death.
Roll-back-to-float is the foundation for children to learn to swim in toddler swimming classes.
Early swim classes. Where can toddlers learn to roll-back-to-float? In infant and toddler swim classes. Survival Swim classes can be used as an introduction to swimming and to make your child more comfortable in the water. Lessons include a full spectrum of activities and skills that emphasize safety and confidence in the water.
- Make it fun.
Use pool safety games for kids as a teaching tool. Repetitive games that allow practice of water survival skills – Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light are good examples – enjoyably pass along important water safety lessons.
Regardless of any tips for teaching toddlers water safety, parents and caregivers must always remember one thing: always actively supervise children around water, including the bathtub. They should have your undivided attention. The more you get involved with your child’s efforts to learn water safety, the quicker and more successful the teaching will be.
Why Is Water Safety Important?
Water safety isn’t just about keeping kids safe in the pool. Bathroom water safety is also important. And things you might not think about — like catchment ponds, drainage ditches and runoff areas in your neighborhood — can be a hazard.
In the U.S.:
- Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children, especially those younger than 4 and teens.
- Most kids with nonfatal drowning injuries need emergency room care. Half of them will need further care, often in a hospital.
- Surviving a drowning can leave someone with severe brain damage — 5%-10% of childhood drowning cases result in long-term disability, such as persistent vegetative state or quadriplegia (the loss of use of all four limbs and torso).
How kids drown varies by age:
- Under age 1: Babies most often drown in bathtubs, buckets, and toilets.
- 1–4 years old: Young children most often drown in swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.
- Older kids, teens, and young adults: Most drownings in these age groups happen in natural bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers.
So it’s important for parents to know about how to protect kids, avoid risks, and respond in an emergency.
Water Safety Basics
Supervision is rule #1. Kids must be watched whenever they’re around water. This is true whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, an ocean, or a lake.
Young children are especially at risk. They can drown in less than 2 inches (6 centimeters) of water. That means drowning can happen in a sink, toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater.
Always watch children closely when they’re in or near any water, no matter what their swimming skills. Even kids who know how to swim can be at risk for drowning. For instance, a child could slip and fall on the pool deck, lose consciousness, and fall into the pool and possibly drown.
Young kids and weak swimmers should have an adult swimmer within arm’s reach to provide “touch supervision.”
Swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are an important part of water safety. Kids can start taking them at age 1. Younger kids often begin with water survival skills training (like learning how to roll onto their back and float). Along with swimming lessons, this training can reduce the risk of drowning in kids ages 1–4. Kids and parents often can take these classes together. Check local recreation centers for classes taught by a qualified instructor. If you don’t know how to swim, consider taking lessons.
What to Do in an Emergency
If a child is missing, always check the pool or other body of water first. Survival depends on a quick rescue and restarting breathing as soon as possible:
- If you find a child in the water, get the child out while calling loudly for help. If someone else is nearby, have them call 911.
- Check to make sure the child’s air passages are clear. If the child is not breathing, start CPR if you are trained to do so. Follow the instructions the 911 emergency operator gives.
- If you think the child has a neck injury, such as from diving:
- Keep the child on his or her back.
- Brace the neck and shoulders with your hands and forearms to help keep the neck from moving until emergency help arrives. This can help prevent further injury to the spine.
- Keep the child still and speak in calm tones to keep the child comforted.
All in we have to protect our babies and kids at all costs. Learning and teaching water safety is a very important lesson of parenting!
Please enjoy the video of Iyah being introduced to water down below.
Do you have any experiences with your little ones in the water? We would love to hear any stories or tips that has helped you! Please feel free to post a picture of your little cutie in the water!
See you on the next post 🙂