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8 Water Skills or Lessons Your Child Should Be Learning Now Before Summer Arrives

Don’t Wait Until Summer to Teach Your Child These Water Skills

It’ll come as a shock to no one, that incidents of drowning are more prevalent during the summer, when the warm weather sees many of us spending more time in pools, lakes, rivers and oceans. In fact, according to the Royal Life Saving Summer Report 22/23 between 1st December 2022 and 28th February 2023 in Australia, 90 people drowned, 10 of which were children. In order to enjoy aquatic activities during the warmer months, it is advisable that parents ensure that their children learn how to stay safer around water well before the mercury on the thermometer begins to rise. This is why enrolling your child in, or continuing with swimming lessons is so important during the cooler months. Repetition and practice help your child to build neural pathways – helping them to remember the lessons they’ve learned in class when they need them in the ‘real world.’

When looking for a swim school for your child, we recommend opting for one that also prioritises survival skills, such as Paul Sadler Swimland. It’s crucial that your child learns more than just the mechanics of moving through water. There are several survival skills that children need to learn, and regular swimming lessons can reduce risk of drowning by up to 88%.

Here’s what your child should be learning now, before summer hits:

Know their Limitations

Whilst it is important to encourage your child to have confidence in the water, this should be measured with a healthy respect for the dangers it can pose.

Never to Run Beside the Water Edge

Whether your child is near a pool edge or a natural body of water, it is important to teach them to always walk, and never run.

Never Swim Alone

Children should ALWAYS be supervised by an adult around water, this includes in the bathtub at home.

To Look for the Exit Before They Get in

Teach your child to look for the exit, for example the ladder on a pool, before they get in. No matter where your child is in the water, they should always know where and how they can exit safely.

To Step or Jump into Water Over Their Head and Return to the Surface

This skill may take time to develop especially if your child is nervous of the water. But with patience and encouragement from properly trained swim instructors, even the most reluctant swimmers can learn this important survival skill.

To Tread Water

Being able to tread water is a survival skill that may take time for your child to develop as it requires them to stay calm, and stay afloat with their head out of the water by gently moving their limbs in the water.

To Float

Similarly, learning to float takes practice as your child will need to master the art of slowing down their breathing, tilting back their head and relaxing their body completely.

To Perform a Safety Circle

After entering the water, children should be able to recover to the surface, turn around and return to the side or the exit.

Paul Sadler Swimland have pools that are specially designed to have a deep end that children are unable to stand up in. Experienced swim teachers spend 10 minutes per 30 swimming lesson in deep water, where they teach treading water, deep water recovery (safety circle), and mobility on front and back until children have achieved 2 minutes of unaided treading water. Lessons then continue to work on treading water and deep water skills building children’s skills to be able to swim 1km in the pool and then transition into the open water.

 Visit Paul Sadler’s Swimland website to find a centre near you.

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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