Welcome to our final post in our ‘Welcome to FINS Intro to Swim and Safety’ series. We hope that you have found these emails informative and helpful. Don’t forget, we love your feedback! Our goal at FINS is to keep parents informed about what their child is learning in class and to provide various helpful tips. As always, ALL FINS team members are happy to help answer questions and address concerns as you have them.
Tips for continued learning while at home:
For the beginner child with fear or apprehension of water:
- During bathtime, gently pour water over the hair, letting it cascade over the face too. You can do this with a slow pour rain bucket like we have in class or a simple cup. Once they allow you to do it, encourage them to pour water on their own head! Always encourage with smiles and positivity. Make it fun!
- Talk about FINS a few times per week when you are not headed to lessons. Mention the instructor’s name a lot too! You can even ask your child questions about their instructor or help them come up with things to ask next time they see them, such as “What is your favorite color? Animal? Book when you were a kid?” By speaking openly about swim lessons and the people your child will see there, it will help to build trust and familiarity more quickly. Having questions to ask will take your child’s mind off of the water and the task of learning, and redirect them to fun little facts about their instructor!
For the child with no fear and progressing swim skills (ideas to practice at the pool):
- Swim outs – If your child wants to show you what they are learning in class, by all means let them do it! Allow them to ‘swim out’ to you from a step or ledge. Always start with a shorter distance than they are used to at FINS, as it is a new environment and circumstances. We parents sometimes want to see if they can do more, but it’s our strong recommendation that increases to their swim distance be restricted to during swim time with our trained teachers.We want your child to see pool time as a FUN experience with you. By having them swim further than they are used to in class, it could create fear and even regress their progress. You just enjoy the playtime!
- Fall in and get the wall – Again, if your child wants to show off their skills to you, go for it! Just limit this skill to no more than 3 times. Most importantly, please make sure they fall FORWARD into the water. Avoid simply scooting to the edge or leaning backward to prevent hitting their head on the pool edge, we even recommend keeping a hand behind the child in case they need a little extra push for their safety..
- Back float – Ask your child if they prefer to be held/supported by you or if they float alone. If your child is nervous and asks for your support, do NOT let go. This can instantly regress back float progress. Remember, leave the swim teaching to the instructors at FINS. We want your child to have fun showing you what they can do! Simply being in the back float position, independently or not, is major progress and they will be proud to show you!
- Have fun! If you get the opportunity to swim with your child, we recommend just a short 5 or so minutes spent on skill reinforcement. Make sure most of your time is about playing and making memories!
For ALL children enrolled in our Learn to Swim and Safely Levels:
- Reinforce the memorization of Swim Safety Rules we go over in class:
- Never Swim Alone (only swim with a grown-up)
- Always use the handrail or sit to get into a pool
- Never swim during thunder and lightning
- No running around the pool
- No eating in the pool
Thank you for taking the time to read our emails and blog posts. Again, we hope you found them helpful and informative! We also want to thank you one more time for taking a very important step in drowning prevention by giving your child the gift of swim lessons. Always remember, teaching your child to swim DOES NOT make them drown-proof. Accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone. Ways of creating layers of drowning prevention include:
- Constant Adult Supervision
- Learning CPR
- Swim Lessons
- Safety Fence Installed Around Pools
- Use of Approved Life Jackets
For more information on Drowning Prevention Education, please visit: http://www.ghadpa.org/