Swimming Pools

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It’s Summer Time!!! Yay (sigh)! Summer time brings with it BBQ’s, no school and swimming pools. Swimming pool-related accidents are a common occurrence in the state of Florida and around the country.

What age did you/will you be putting your children in swimming lessons? Is swimming an important skill you think they should learn? There are many ways to teach this important lesson, some quite controversial. Would you consider teaching your children yourself, hiring a private tutor, what about a group class? What are some of the most important pool rules you will be teaching your children?

The Hot Mess Mom: 

When you have kids your love for the water doesn’t change but your safety precautions should. I for one, am so stinking nervous about my son going near the ocean. I can just see him getting swept away by a current every time. We opt for the pool 9 times out of 10. However pools are just as dangerous if not more.

Most kids have no fear which is scary because they don’t know the limits. Swim lessons are very effective in my opinion to not only teach kids how to swim but to teach them how NOT to drown. I have seen the videos where the 18 month baby has fallen in the pool and just when you see their nose and mouth completely submerge under water. They calm their body down and flip themselves over on their back and stay afloat until help comes or they drift to the edge of the pool. It was an amazing video. Although my very first thought was that no way in hell was I going to let someone slightly drown my child to show them anything.

My daughter will be 8 soon and as much as she wants to act like a baby in the pool for some reason and pretend like she doesn’t know how to swim, we all know that she does. We have no idea why she won’t go in the deep end and why she feels she needs to hang on to the edge of the pool. If you were to take her to the end of the pool and let her go she isn’t going to sink. We know this because of course we have done it. Deep down she knows she can swim.

My son will be 2 years old in October. I think at the 2 year mark is when we will explore swimming lessons for him. We haven’t yet decided which method we are going to go with but regardless our goal is for him to have fun and be safe in the water at all times.

A good mix of fear and respect is what promotes appropriate water safety. Happy Swimming!

The Not-So-Single Mom: 

I believe learning to swim is VITAL. My daughter took a group class at the city pool when she was 10 months old. She didn’t care for it because the water was cold, but it taught ME how to teach her the baby basics. I have heard of and know people who have put their infant in those “swim survival” classes, which I believe is fantastic, if you as a mommy can handle it. I don’t think I could, so that’s why we went to the group class.

The instructor said basically they learn those same things until they go into the 3 year old class. So, now that we have a pool, we work with her almost daily. Especially now that it’s hot outside. She LOVES to swim. We do use swimmies (arm floaties) to begin with, then remove them. She is just as brave with them off. She’s learning to kick and move her arms, etc. There are just SO many accidents, especially in FL, that I am very much into making sure she can swim and knows the rules. Aside from actual swimming, we are trying to make SURE her number one rule is that she has to wait for mom or dad to go in the pool! So far, if I remind her while I am putting my stuff down “don’t go in, wait for mommy (or daddy)” she seems to understand.

It’s VERY VERY important to me to teach her a few major rules, and the basics of swimming. Once she turns 3 we may go ahead and put her back in group swim so that she can learn with the instructors, at least once, so that WE as parents can learn what to practice with her.

The Naturalist Mom:

Living in Florida for 98% of my life, I have always been exposed to water. For me, it’s just as important for my children to be exposed at a young age as well. So as early as I can, each one of my kids has been in the pool during their infancy. I’m a huge advocate on teaching respect, not fear, especially at a young age. That goes for anything, but specifically water.

I dedicate time with my children in the pool and teach them myself. I have the patience and am not afraid to go through the process with each child. As a parent, it’s a personal preference and an opportunity to bond; a time that I revel in. The first thing I teach my children to do is float. If all else fails, flip on your back and keep your head above water. We also emphasize that the pool is fun, but can be dangerous; no pool without an adult! I know that no one is perfect and kids are bound to break rules, so we also make sure we do our due diligence as parents and secure the doors.

We don’t personally have a pool at our home, but we make sure to keep eyes (man on man defense) when we go places. Since it is not an everyday luxury in our home, we are sensitive to having water around us and more alert with our children when we are places with water/pools/fountains/lakes, etc.

The Scrambling Step Mom: 

I am in the process of finding lessons for my 16 month old daughter. It is slim pickins’ for her age in my area, but I feel that it is so important. When I was a baby, we lived with my grandparents and they had a pool. I learned to swim before I walked, according to my dad. I will be teaching my daughter to NEVER go near the pool without an adult. Shoot, even my 8 year old step daughter is not allowed by the pool without an adult. Drowning is REAL and PREVENTABLE. Locks on doors leading to pools, safety gates, and constant adult supervision are all a must.

The Perfectionist Mom: 

Pool safety is one of the most important, life saving lessons you can teach a young child. Drowning is one of those few things that is very preventable if you know even the basics.

I have wanted to do group lessons with my 15 month old daughter for a long time. I kept thinking that she was too young to really pay for the classes, so I did research and watched other moms teaching their kids with the baby basics. We have been in the pool a bunch already and she is learning to float and move her legs. I still kind of get the feeling that a lot of it is reaction and not learned movement.

My husband and I are really serious about water safety. We have lake behind our house and that is just as dangerous as a pool, if not more! If a child were to fall in you wouldn’t be able to see them as easily!  We have alarms on our slider door and never let her on the patio alone, just in case. We have a group of 5 families all with kids from 3 to 6 months who want to find a personal trainer to come and teach the kids. I think that would be wonderful. We have the community pools as well as the lake so it’s a priority for us all.

We have already started the pool rules. No going in without an adult, no running around the pool, eyes and ears open to be sure its safe when you do get in. The last thing we need is a big kid jumping on her in the pool.

Love, Your MOMentous Moms

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