Kids love water in any form. Studies say toddlers learn swimming faster than adults do because kids kick in their natural floating and flapping instincts without any self consciousness or fear .
But how about keeping some basics in mind when we introduce our toddler to the pool? A lot of parents have concerns in sending their diaper-clad toddler to splash in the local pool because obviously the kid is not toilet-trained. The other and more important concern is child safety. And we also worry about the bacteria in the pool that could make the child sick.
- Yes , babies can swim in the local pool in snug fit swim diapers and swim pants which are not waterproof though. Should the child have a bowel movement, chances are high the stool may leak out of the diaper. A dirty diaper can contaminate the swimming pool The best solution is to take breaks to ensure that the toddler gets his/her toilet breaks .
- Toddlers are bound to gulp pool water at some point in time especially if they are swimming for the first time. A little gulping here and there should not be a cause for concern but too much of it can lead to illness. Have the toddler under supervision with the head and neck above water and encourage them to spit out any water that gets into the mouth. Uncontrolled gulping could also choke them.
- Invest in rescue gear: Keep rescue equipment by the pool, including a shepherd’s hook (a long pole with a hook on the end), a life preserver, and a phone.
- Keep your child within arm’s reach: The best way to keep little swimmers out of harm’s way is by practicing what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls “touch supervision” — being close enough to reach out and touch your child at all times. Be sure to stay that close even after your tot has swim lessons under his belt — at least until he’s four years old. You’ll also want to make sure your new swimmer doesn’t swallow too much water while splashing around (something little ones often do), which could possibly lead to water intoxication, a rare but serious condition resulting from excessive fluid intake. So watch out for gulpers and keep any underwater submersions brief.
- Take swimming & CPR classes: In addition to signing your child up for an age-appropriate swim class, it’s a good idea for you to take a child CPR class if you haven’t already. And it familiarize yourself with the signs of drowning in kids. More than likely you’ll never have to use this knowledge, but knowing what to look for can help save a life.
If we keep in mind these basics, there is no fear and no reason why a toddler cannot enjoy swimming.