Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fun Water Safety Lessons for Young Children - Guest Blogger Post

Via Flickr – by peasap
“Mommy, Sam pushed Mark into the water.” “Mommy, Cooper keeps running around the pool.” “Mommy, Mason dove in a no-diving area.” Maybe he has law enforcement in his future or will one day be an excellent lifeguard, but my son is definitely a stickler for pool rules…and that makes me so happy.

I love the water and I wanted my kids to love the water, too, but I also wanted them to be safe. As a result, my husband and I began teaching them water safety at an early age and took them to swim lessons as soon as they were old enough.

If you have a young child, there’s no better time than now to begin teaching them about water safety. A great place to start is this extensive guide on recreational swimming safety. It offers a comprehensive overview of the rules you’ll want to teach your child. Then, help them become water safety experts with these simple steps:

First, get them used to the water. Your child’s first experience with the water could determine how they feel about water moving forward. The Alliance for Early Childhood provides great advice on how to make it a good one. For example, the organization recommends making your child feel comfortable and protected by always holding them firmly while in the water.

Second, make it fun. Use these activities to teach your child about water safety and help them become strong swimmers:
  • Safety is Cool at the Pool. This activity from KidsHealth.org is a great introduction to pool and water safety rules for Pre-K to 2nd Grade-age students. In it, they’ll create a water bottle label that features the rules they’ve learned.
  • Red Light, Green Light. Of course, strong kicks are a key part of safe swimming. This activity from TodaysParent.com has your child hold on to the side of the pool or a shallow end step. Say “Green light!” Then, your child should start kicking. Say “Red light!” And they should stop. It’s great kicking practice and great exercise.
  • Danger Rangers. If you find yourself stuck inside because of the weather, use the time to continue your kids’ education in water safety. My kids love the activities at DangerRangers.com. There are many different sections on safety. The one on water safety features songs, videos, and printable coloring pages.
I can’t stress enough how smart it is to start teaching your kids about water safety at an early age. Not only will doing so help protect them from potential danger, they’ll be much more receptive at an early age than they will once they’re older. It gives me comfort that my kids have taken what I’ve taught them to heart, and I think a big part of that is that my husband and I began preaching water safety to them at a young age.

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Patricia Sarmiento is an avid swimmer and runner. She blogs regularly about health, wellness, fitness, and other health topics. She is a former high school and college athlete and continues to make fitness a focus in her everyday life. She lives with her husband, son, daughter, and the family dog in Maryland.