Babies have just spent months in fluid within the womb, so getting babies started early in the water will help them to feel this familiarity again. As children get older they tend to develop a ‘fear’ of swimming and water.
Starting early helps a baby feel comfortable in the water, it helps to build their confidence, teaches them respect of the water and if your child is partaking in lessons then they will learn lifesaving skills.
You might question ‘how can my baby learn lifesaving skills so early’? Babies and children learn very rapidly and through repetition as well as watching others. Getting your child to hold onto the side, become comfortable with submersions, float on their backs and learn to blow bubbles under the water are all essential lifesaving skills.
If your child has been to lessons then they would have an understanding of how to react if they were to fall into a body of water, such as a pool, pond, lake or the sea. They would know to either hold their breath or blow bubbles under the water (depending on their age) and kick up to the surface.
This confidence, understanding and ability ensures the child does not panic. Going under the water will seem natural to them and they will remain calm. Most children, who have never been taught, would panic upon hitting the water. In this panic, they may cry out or try to breathe under the water which could result in a drowning incident.
Children who have had lessons (depending on their age and ability) will also understand what to do once they have returned to the surface. Some may swim to find something to hold onto and either climb out or continue holding on. If whilst swimming, they need to take a breath, they can roll onto their backs to take a breath and then continue swimming until they reach safety.
Children who are taught from birth have an understanding of their own ability and a greater natural affinity for the water. Whether you have taken your child to swimming lessons from birth or not, being vigilant and within arm’s reach of your child around water, will help prevent any incidents from occurring.