First of all, I’m excited to let you know that we’re SwimWays ambassadors – or as we told the boys, we’re on the Swim Steps Swim Team.
Both of our boys have minimal experience in the water. They think it’s fun to splash around, but they haven’t had swimming lessons yet. This summer we want to work with them on being more comfortable in the water and learning some basic swimming skills. Thanks to some great safety items from SwimWays, they’re well on their way to being swim-savvy!
SwimWays breaks down swimming skills into steps:
- Step 1- It’s my first time in the pool. Before they can enjoy the water, babies need to be comfortable in it.
- Step 2- I’m ready to paddle and splash. For toddlers, action is the name of the game. Kids at this age may feel ready to jump right in, but they need support and security as they learn swimming skills.
- Step 3- Teach me to swim so we can play together. As kids get older, they’re ready to begin truly learning to swim. They’ve mastered water balancing and paddling and they may already have some other swimming skills.
- Step 4- I can do it—watch me go!Children who can swim on their own often need a little extra support as they refine their swimming abilities.
Even though C is 2 and J is almost 4, I’d classify them both as Step 2. We received several safety items for the boys to wear while learning to swim, along with a couple of fun pool toys.
We got the Swim Vest, which will be great for J to wear with his swim trunks. I like that it’s secure with a zipper, but that it’s not too cumbersome.
The Swim Shorty will be perfect for C – it’s got a top and bottom built in to one piece and will be easy for him to maneuver in.
We will also be trying the Power Swimr with both boys, which provides a comfortable and secure fit, and will keep them in a well balanced swimming position.
Now that I’ve shown you the swimming gear from SwimWays we’re going to try out, I thought I’d share some of the safety tips SwimWays sent us. Water safety is incredibly important – it is too easy for something to happen quickly if you’re not being careful! These are easy to remember… just be S.U.R.E.! These tips are provided from Jim L. Reiser, M.S., founder of Swim Lessons University.
Safe and Secure. Before children can enjoy the water they need to feel comfortable. Build their confidence and help them feel safer and secure (using products like those from SwimWays can help give children that sense of security).
Use active “Eagle Eye” supervision when your child is in or around the water. More than half of drownings involving children ages 3-5 occur in residential pools. You could even use a “Water Watcher Tag” to help parents remember whose turn it is to watch the children.
Remember a lifejacket. Lifejackets live up to their name and save lives. Jim’s rule of thumb is: if a child can’t swim across the body of water he is playing in/around AND the adult isn’t within an arm’s reach of the child at all times, the child should be wearing a lifejacket.
Evaluate and re-evaluate your definition of “swimming.” More than half of all drownings of children over age 6 occur in open water situations. Learning to swim is no different than learning any other skill, and involves continuous practice.
Feel free to tweet Jim any swimming lesson questions you might have! @SwimProfessor
I’ll be writing again soon to update you on the boys’ swimming progress. We’re trying out all the SwimWays gear for the first time later this week!