Safety rules: When you take your toddler for a swimming…
Created by Sumitra Gopal Updated on Jun 13, 2020
It's tough to keep children away from water, especially in this heat. Jerry and Kiki would jump into the pool at the drop of a hat and would lose their minds in all the excitement. As a mother I always felt worried, bordering on paranoia, when it was swim time, for it was so tough to control them.
I could be in the pool with them, but I wanted them to learn what it means to be safe in the water so that they enjoyed their pool time, while keeping in mind all the safety aspects.I always emphasise safety before and after a swim so that children adopt these practices as a part of swimming. Here’s what I followed:
Set ground rules: We set basic rules, like no running around the pool area, as they could slip and fall. Jumping into the water was okay as long as there was no one around and the pool was not shallow. When they could not swim in the deep, they had to wear their arm bands, especially if I was not around. I would repeat the list with them before their swim and if they followed the rules they got 10 minutes extra! Gradually, they internalised the safety rules.
Safety before the swim:Always apply good sunscreen, even in the evenings. Kids have very sensitive skin, and the sunscreen protects the skin from damage.Wear a swim cap to protect your hair, swim freely and not spread germs.Blow your nose and take a shower before entering the pool.
Safety during the swim:Children are children, so it's hard for them not to be naughty. So, while wearing armbands was a part of getting ready for the pool, they would try to take off the bands when they saw other children weren’t wearing the same. I once took them for a swim and while I was at arms length, removed their armbands. Sureenough, the water started getting into their noses and they started going down. The experience was not pleasant, but it worked as a reinforcement of joy wearing safety gear in water.
Safety after the swim: A lukewarm-water bath followed by a liberal application of cream to keep the body rash free and health.Plus, drinking lots of fluids to keep the body hydrated.
Never swim alone:Nakul or I always take the kids for a swim. They are not allowed to go by themselves. If we cannot swim for any reason, we watch them vigilantly from the edge of the pool, or put them in the toddler pool instead.
Swimming is a great family activity for us and we look forward to it as often as we can... not forgetting to play by the rules.
What ground rules do you set when you take your children swimming? Tell us in the comments below!
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