Babies in the Deep End: Can Infants Learn to Swim?
The summer solstice is behind us, so, yes, it is now officially summer. And beyond popsicles, sunburns that yield blisters, sleepovers on the trampoline, and grass stains on the heels of your feet, spending the day nearby, in, or somewhere near the pool is the quintessence of summer. (Except for me. I hate swimming. The whole taking your shirt off thing is probably my least favorite thing on this earth.)
But these posts are not about me—they're about the general public. And I would say that the general public likes swimming. And among those of the general public are kids. Little kids. I don't go to the pool all that often, but when I do, the little people can be seen sitting on the edge of the pool, kicking their legs and splashing water everywhere.
Oh, what joy.
Until the little people fall in. With multiple little people that parents have to keep their eyes on, there is a slight chance that the second you turn around, your baby slips into the water.
An average 10 people die per day from drowning—two of these deaths are of children under the age of 14. That number may not seem significant, but think of the two families that have to deal with the heartache of the death of a child.
Yes, parents need to keep their eyes on the littlest their fishes, but, like I mentioned before, there is typically more than one child that is in need of your watchful eyes.
So, something you can do is arm your children with the ability to swim. Yes, even your little 6-month-old.
Infant Swimming Resource, a nationwide organization the teaches children survival swimming, offers swimming lessons for kids. On their website, they've got a few videos that show little people not necessarily swimming, but using the skills that they've been taught to avoid drowning.
I'm not going to lie, watching the 6-month-old kids floundering around under the surface makes me a little antsy, but it seems that if they have the training and they understand what to do in the case if falling in the water, they're actually pretty calm. They are taught to regain composure while under the water and then float on their backs, waiting for someone to help them out.
If you have any interest in teaching your really young children pool safety, give their website a look. You can also find some of the ISR locations that are nearest to you.
What do you think? Would you try these lessons or do you have a different approach to swimming and water safety?