Encouraging water confidence in children
Less than 50% of UK children leave school with the ability to swim the minimum requirement of 25 meters (as set by the UK government). This is something which really saddens me and I am a great believer in introducing children to the pool as soon as possible.
My children were both in the swimming pool before they were 6 weeks old and could both swim 25 meters before they turned four, but it took a lot of hard work and commitment on my part. Like many other parents I groaned at the thought of swimming changing rooms with the boys, getting cold, damp and oh the hassle of it all, however, I am so glad that I perceived as I have two happy, water confident boys.
So what are my top tips and products for getting your children water confident?
Make sure you have the right swimwear. Boys need trunks, not swim shorts, as they fill with water and make it much harder to learn. one piece swimming costumes are much comfier for little girls and in all honesty when they are under two a swim nappy is all you need. You can buy disposable ones, but if you are going on a regular basis then a reusable is much more cost effective. To make finding your child easier then make sure you go for an unusual or bright colour. Orange trunks anyone?!?
Goggles – Mini wears prescription glasses, so it is much easier for him to see and therefore, have more confidence in the water with prescription goggles. They were less than £25 and you can get specific ones for children. Maxi didn’t wear goggles regularly until he could swim properly.
Buy your own pool toys, such as floats and woggles. My boys loved playing with the toys and collecting the dive rings off the bottom of the pool. By placing them on the steps of the little pool it encouraged them to put their heads under the water and by having our own it was something we could do regularly on our own.
We also had a pool ball,. there is nothing more fun than balls in the swimming pool.