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Teaching Children to Swim Abbotsford BC

Prepare your child to put the face underwater by submerging an object or toy on the steps. Let your child ride on your shoulders to prepare them to glide. Bring them through chest-deep water.

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Teaching Children to Swim

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(NC)-Swimming lessons for children often begin when they start school, but as the owner of a backyard pool, you'll likely want to start sooner. With your own pool, your child can relax and learn at his or her own pace. Many people successfully teach toddlers or even babies to swim safely on their own- always with adult supervision, of course. Here are some easy steps to teaching your toddler to swim.

The basics of teaching a young child to swim are to keep things positive, smile and speak reassuringly, and be sure to explain what you are about to do at every step. Use a 1-2-3 countdown when starting something new. Hold firmly, so the child senses he or she is safe.

Start with playing on the steps. Give them a toy, and let them get accustomed to the water. Ask them to pretend the water is paint and to cover themselves with their favourite colour. Progress to blowing bubbles with them. Demonstrate by taking a big breath and blowing bubbles in front of them. Be patient. Some children can be intimidated at the prospect of putting their face near the water. Sit down on the top step with the child and show them how to kick. Keep legs fairly straight.

Prepare your child to put the face underwater by submerging an object or toy on the steps. Let your child ride on your shoulders to prepare them to glide. Bring them through chest-deep water. Move the child to dipping underwater with a 1-2-3 countdown. If water gets in the eyes, encourage children to wipe it away like a windshield wiper rather than rubbing.

Teach children to "crab crawl" along the wall to get back to the steps. This is an important safety lesson-children will know there is a safe place to go if they are in distress. Have your child use your shoulder as a pillow to learn the back float. The child's toes should be poking up through the surface of the water and the head tilted back. Next, teach a prone glide with your arms supporting at the chest and waist or legs. Have the child hold arms straight in front and close the mouth. Gradually add the kick. Have your child sit on the side and lower them into the water as you step away from the wall.

Finally, combine all the learned skills by having your child push off the steps, kick, turnaround and head back to the steps. And remember, always demonstrate, speak reassuringly and be patient. With a solid foundation of swimming skills and water safety, you and your child will be able to enjoy your pool together for years to come.

More information about pools and hot tubs is available online at www.leisurescapes.com.

- News Canada