How does my child learn to swim?
Safety, joy and an early start are key words if you want to support your child in becoming familiar with water and learning to swim of lifeguard training near me. A new free online tool helps you with fun exercises from when your child is around 2 years old.
Start with baby swimming when the child is 2 months old
Already when your child is around 2 months old, you can start going to baby swimming. And it’s a really good idea to start so early, says development consultant Patrick Lilius from the Danish Swimming Union.
“If we start early to make our children safe in water, we give them the best conditions for learning to swim.”
Why baby swimming?
Before the infant was born, it was surrounded by amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb. By starting baby swimming early, we can maintain the calming and stimulating effect that the water has on the child. The infant is also born with a reflex that naturally closes the mouth and throat when the face comes into contact with water.
The reflex will disappear if not maintained. We can e.g. see this when the child experiences discomfort when diving and imitates others holding their nose, which is not appropriate. It is therefore a good idea to stimulate the child early on with water in the face and dive with it – and at the same time avoid showing discomfort with water in the face.
New learning tool from around the age of 2
When the child approaches the age of 2, help is available in the new free online tool Play with Blob , which was created in collaboration between the Danish Swimming Association .
“Around the age of 2, most children are mentally and physically at a place where they can understand and repeat the small exercises, but if you have the courage and the child seems ready, you can easily try earlier,” says Patrick Lilius, who has helped develop the tool.
Playing with Blob focuses on 4 basic skills that are central when your child is to start acquiring swimming with lifeguard training near me skills:
Element change: Moving from solid ground to water is often a big sensory and motor challenge because the body behaves differently.
Breathing: Here, the ability to draw air in above water, hold your breath and exhale underwater is trained.
Balance: When the child e.g. lies and floats in changing positions, it develops the balance, which is necessary to be able to move in a controlled manner in the water.
Movement : The child must learn to move forward in the water on his own.
For each of the 4 areas, there are 16 exercises at different levels with and without equipment, which you will most often find in the swimming pool. The exercises are both described and shown with a short video, so they are easy to understand.
How to best support your child
As parents, you have an important role from the child’s infancy in terms of creating security, enjoyment of the water and the opportunity for the child to develop his swimming with lifeguard training near me skills. See here what you should pay attention to:
It must be on the child’s terms:
Your child loses motivation and joy if you push him too much. Proceed at the child’s pace and always let play and trust be the focal point.
Be a good role model:
It’s not good if you cough and splutter yourself when you get your head under water, or stand for a long time and rub your eyes afterwards. Instead, express joy both with sounds and facial expressions. Do the same when you help your baby or child to get their head under water – and make sure to maintain eye contact. If you yourself feel bad about getting your head under water, practice it.
Support the baby on the chest or neck:
The best way to hold your baby or child up is by supporting the chest, where there is already natural buoyancy. In this way, it practices itself in keeping the butt and hip up of lifeguard training near me. When the child is lying on its back, you should support the neck.
Blow bubbles in the bath:
Show your child how to blow bubbles when you bathe him in the bath and let him lie on his back with his ears under water while you support his head. It helps to familiarize the child with the wet element.