We hope you are having a FINStastic day! You have been in swim lessons for weeks now and we hope you and your baby are having a blast together! In the 2nd email we sent (insert blog post here), we talked a lot about water safety and the skills you and your baby will practice in class that are safety focused.You have probably heard the instructor count with you to cue your baby by saying “Ready/OK 1, 2, 3”. This simple cue has a BIG purpose in drowning prevention efforts!
It is of utmost importance that a parent or caregiver establishes strict rules when it comes to being in and around water. During our classes we teach all Baby FINS skills with a “Ready/OK 1, 2, 3 cue.” While this rule does indicate to the baby that the skill is coming, it is more importantly letting the baby know they are not welcome to enter the pool or attempt a skill without your permission/presence. In class, when a baby jumps before the cue, it is important to put them back at the starting position and say “No. I did not say it was time to swim. You wait for me to say “Ready 1, 2, 3” and then go,” to reinforce the safety driven cue.
In the beginning, when the baby is younger or perhaps timid around water, this may not seem as important. Trust us, before long they will view themselves as an invincible baby with Olympic-worthy swim skills. Establishing your strict rules in and around water in the beginning will be beneficial in the long run!
Remember, our ultimate goal is to make your child a safer and stronger swimmer. By adhering strictly to this rule of proper pool entry, you are helping this process. The more this skill is practiced, the more the baby understands that it is NEVER okay to enter the water without you and your permission. In the event that your child finds their way to a pool or body of water without you there, our hope is they will be conditioned by this cue and remember not to go into the water because you are not there and have not given your permission.
Be on the lookout next week for our final email in this series: ways you can help further advance your baby’s skills by practicing at home!