People organize conditions for swimming even where there are no open water bodies. They build water complexes and construct swimming pools in houses. Swimming is the most beneficial and fun physical activity. Swimming is considered the king of all aerobic sports. It strengthens the muscles and favorably affects the circulatory and respiratory organs.
Swimming can be practiced at almost any age. Many mothers teach their children to swim in the first year of life. Parents are interested in two questions before starting a child’s education. When can you take a baby swimming to the pool and take to the sea? What rules should be followed when swimming with children?
When Can You Take a Baby Swimming?
The answer actually is straight forward and very simple: practically from the first weeks of birth. There is a difference between bathing in a baby bath and being physically active in the water. You can bathe a child when the umbilical wound heals. This happens when the baby is 2-3 weeks old. Otherwise, physical activity can provoke improper healing of the navel.
You can start classes in a regular bathroom. When the child reaches 2 months – start using home pool.
In the summer, you can swim in the home pool if you live in a private house. A child can be taught to swim from the moment when the wound on the navel heals. It is recommended to start no earlier than 2 months when it comes to swimming in the pool. The child is already strong and it will be much easier for you at this age.
How to explain to the baby that you need to hold your breath? The child retains the congenital reflex of stopping breathing for up to six months.
Several rules should be followed when transferring bathing from a bathtub to a home pool.
– Make sure that the baby is used to home bathing and only then go to the pool. The abrupt transition from a small bathroom to a large pool can scare the baby.
– The first lessons in the home pool should not be too long and intense. It is enough to swim for about 10 minutes to start.
– Hold your child in such a way that your face is in his field of view while swimming. It will be easier for the baby to relax if you smile and talk to him.
– A child can only be bathed in the pool on his back if he does not know how to crawl. Hold the baby by the stomach with one hand and the chin with the other hand while bathing on the stomach.
To Public or Resort Pool
The child likes to splash and swim in the water. Does he get upset and ask for more when he leaves the home pool? This is an occasion to think about continuing to swim in a public or resort pool in the autumn-winter period.
Swimming in the pools is allowed from 6 months under the supervision of parents. You can visit the pool every week. This will positively affect the future posture and health of the baby.
Training during this period should playfully take place, and any mother can handle this. You can think about professional pursuits from the age of five. The kid is already developed enough to learn to swim consciously at that age.
Many children face the fear of large pools. You can playfully overcome the fears of the baby. Here are a few tricks:
– Teach your child to submerge half of his head in the water and blow bubbles with his nose and mouth.
– Do not be afraid to splash water on the child and let him do the same in return.
– Try moving your usual games in the water like catch-up and patty.
Open Water (sea or ocean)
Children can swim from 2 to 3 months old but pediatricians advise starting swimming in open water no earlier than 2 years. Small children should not swim without adult supervision.
The sea and the pool have a fundamental difference. The water temperature in the pool is regulated, and in the sea, it depends on the air temperature. Babies under three years of age do not tolerate heat well.
The ideal water temperature for a baby is 24C and above. It is necessary to limit to short-term immersion in an embrace with parents if the temperature is lower. Very young children under two years old can swim for no more than 5 minutes. Starting from three years and up to school age – a maximum of 15-20 minutes per one time. In no case should children be allowed to swim until they have “blue lips” – this harms the child’s body.
You should adhere to the following rules when traveling with a small child to the sea:
– Do not think that if a child has learned to swim, then you can let him go into the water alone. Parents should not leave the baby unattended. Even if your child demonstrates brilliant swimming skills.
– Use inflatable rings and sleeves if the depth of the sea reaches the baby to the chin.
– Watch out for temperature differences. You cannot warm the child for a long time on the beach and then abruptly enter the sea.
– Be sure to use sunscreen. A child under 3 years old should not be in the open sun for more than 10 minutes.
Risks for Babies when Swimming (First Time)
Do not be afraid to lower the baby underwater for a split second – he will not choke! The child automatically holds his breath when water hits his face. This should be done only in the prone position. It is advisable to shout “Dive” loudly and lower the child into the water. With these cries, the baby will hold his breath in advance in the future.
Parents need to know the rules that will help to avoid risks to the health of the child during the first dive.
– Children are different and the breath-holding reflex is expressed differently. The reflex fades if you do not practice diving for up to 3-4 months. The child will need the help of a professional coach to learn how to dive at a later age.
– Do not get carried away – two or three dives in one bathing session is enough for a baby. The duration of the bathing procedure should not exceed 20 minutes.
If you understand that the child does not like to dive – do not do it! The child should do everything with pleasure.
Follow Safety Rules when Swimming
Bathing should be a source of joy and benefit and not a cause of accidents or illnesses. It is important to follow safety rules when bathing both babies and teenagers.
1. Teach your child how to behave properly on the water. A mandatory rule will be the prohibition of entry into the water without permission. Children should not frolic unnecessarily in the pond. This can cause nausea and convulsions.
2. Children can swim only in specially equipped places. You should not choose deserted beaches for swimming. Their bottom is dangerous with pits and sharp objects.
3. The maximum duration of swimming in open water is 20 minutes. Parents should control the time that the child spends in the water. Otherwise, a fragile children’s body can get hypothermia.
4. Separate swimming and meals. Do not allow swimming immediately after a full meal. Better to wait at least forty minutes.
5. Pampering on the water is twice as dangerous as on land. Often children playfully try to drown each other. Explain to the child that such games can turn into trouble.
6. Avoid temperature fluctuations. If the child has been in the sun for a long time not recommended to dive sharply to cool off. This can cause shock and loss of consciousness.
7. Do not swim in strong winds and waves. Even small waves can be dangerous for a child. There is a risk of swallowing saltwater, which can cause vomiting.