Toddler Swimming – Introducing your child to the water
Seeing a toddler swimming should be an enjoyable experience for parents. If your toddler is not used to being in the water it can be a strange and slightly scary experience for them. It is important to follow your toddlers lead and let them get used to the experience slowly.
A toddler that enjoys their time in the bathtub will not necessarily adjust quickly to swimming in a pool. Swimming is a different environment than a bathtub at home and it will take a toddler a little bit of time to get used to.
Use a float if necessary
A life vest can help a toddler feel more secure in the water. Be sure and use one that is rated as a true floatation device and is designed to keep a young toddlers head above the water. Some toddlers may not be comfortable wearing a life vest. Allowing your toddler to wear the life vest around the house may help them get used to the feel of the life vest and become more comfortable with it so that they can wear it in the swimming pool. (Doing this will probably mean that they want to wear it outside too!! – Be warned!) As with any floatation device, infants and toddlers must have constant supervision while in any depth of water.
If your toddler is not comfortable wearing a life vest there are several baby floatation devices that most infants and toddlers enjoy in the pool. They are not full flotation devices and your infant and toddler will need to be watched very closely. If the floatation device flips over, the toddler could fall out or become trapped under the water. They are an excellent way to get a toddler used to the water with the appropriate supervision.
Some toddlers may take to the water immediately while others may need to be introduced slowly. Follow your toddlers lead. If they act uncomfortable with anything, take a step back and allow your toddler to become more comfortable before taking the next step. Toddlers may need to be introduced to the water several times before they begin to grow comfortable with it. Be patient and allow them to have fun while they get used to being in the water.
Remember that during your toddler swimming, if they start to shiver in the water, get them out of the pool immediately and wrapped warmly.
It is common for young toddlers swimming to react badly to water in their ears, and this can be the cause of ear infections. Simple ear plugs and/or ear bands will put your child at ease and make swimming more comfortable.
If your toddler has any form of illness, from a cold to a skin complaint do not allow them to enter the water as this may aggravate the symptoms. Check with a local Doctor to make sure it is safe.
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