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Taking your child for a swim? Here's a checklist

Sumitra Gopal
3 to 7 years

Created by Sumitra Gopal
Updated on May 16, 2017

Taking your child for a swim Heres a checklist

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 children 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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| May 16, 2017

thanks sumitra for sharing your information with us

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| May 16, 2017

Satya, try calamine or aleo vera gel after a swim to sooth the skin. And don't forget the sun screen.

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| May 16, 2017

Shreya, inflatable bands worn by novices on the upper arm are called arm bands. They keep the child afloat. So the child does not go under water

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| May 16, 2017

Hi Nidhi, I use any child friendly sunscreen with an SPF > 50+ as water really tans. You might have to try a few to see what works for your child.

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| May 16, 2017

my kid has become very dark due to swimming. How to correct the skin color again

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| May 16, 2017

hey nice tips ..i too take my kid foe swimming.. wht type of sunscreen shud b used for kids. .

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| May 16, 2017

Hi Sumitra, well-worded and exhaustive blog. Thanks for sharing the checklist. One question though, sorry two -- what is armband and how does it prevent water enter the child's nose? Sorry if the questions sound silly to you :)

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