It’s well known that swimming is an essential life skill for all ages. Children greatly benefit from learning how to swim and lessen their risk of drowning. Since swimming is made up of several skills, we’ve put together what we believe to be four of the most important swimming skills every child should know. Not only will these help them in building future techniques, but these skills can also help prevent your child from drowning if they fall into a pool.
1. Holding their breath
Going underwater and not being able to breathe can be a daunting thought to many children. However, this is one of the most important drowning-prevention skills. Once a child learns how to hold their breath underwater, they’re less likely to swallow water. As they get to practice this skill more, their confidence in the water will grow and holding their breath will become a natural reaction.
2. Flipping to their back
This skill is important for situations wherein children have depleted all of their energy or find themselves in the middle of the pool without knowing how to get to the edge. These situations can be particularly dangerous for children, so it’s imperative that they are able to flip over to their back and float. This allows them to breathe properly, relax, think, and possibly even float to the edge of the pool.
3. Holding on to the wall
Many children have difficulty climbing out of a pool if there are no steps or ladders. If a child accidentally falls into the water, the best thing for them to do would be to hold on to the wall. This way, they can keep their head out of the water, breathe properly, and call for help. Another skill in relation this would be shuffling along the wall in order to get to the ladder or stairs so they can climb out of the pool.
4. Kicking underwater to propel their body
Last but not least, every child should learn how to kick underwater in order to propel their body forward. While swimming incorporates several kinds of body movements, kicking would be one of the basics. If a child falls far into the pool, they will be able to kick towards the wall (and to safety) . Learning how to kick underwater will also help them learn several swimming strokes in the future.
These four skills are crucial in the event of an accidental fall into the pool. At The Noodies Swim School, we make sure all these four skills are mastered before teaching other skills as it is the foundation of all their movement in the water. Make sure to equip your child with these life-saving skills!