Pool season is a couple of months off and I’m simultaneously over-joyed about the idea and slightly terrified. You see, my 5-year-old loves our pool club. He loves swimming. He messes around in the water, plunging down for his dive rockets, jumping off the side yelling “Cannon ball!” and begs me and his dad to take him into the deep areas. It’s hours of fun for him. But keeping him safe is a big concern for me.
Last summer, I was able to devote all my attention to him because he was my only swimming kid. My baby was born in late June so I was either pregnant or the baby was parked in a stroller nearby so I could keep an eye on my son all the time and make sure he never got in trouble in the water. Our pool is staffed with lifeguards, but I’m also vigilant about watching out for my own kids, especially given the way horseplay in the water can turn into something scary in a second. This summer, I’ll be watching not just my big kid but a mobile baby who loves to splash around. I need to think ahead about how to keep them both safe in the pool.
C is basically a self-taught swimmer. He “got it” early last summer and figured out just enough basic swimming technique to feel over-confident in the water. He can move around well enough to play but he wouldn’t be able to bail himself out in an emergency. That’s why I’ve signed him up for private swimming lessons now. I want him to start pool seasons already re-acclimated to the water, with lessons in swimming and water safety fresh in his mind. I especially want him to learn to tread water and maneuver in the deep end. I’m working with his swim instructor to get him ready to play safely at the pool even when I have my arms full of baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swimming lessons for most kids age 4 and older and says that even kids as young as 1 can benefit from formal swim instruction. Will you be getting swimming lessons for your kids before the official start of summer?
Photo credit: photo stock
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