Now that summer is in full swing, you’re probably spending some lazy afternoons with your kids in your backyard or neighborhood pool. While you want to keep a close eye on all of your children while they are in and around the water, you should be extra vigilant with your toddler. To make sure your toddler has a fun and safe time at the pool, check out these tips:
Start Swimming Lessons Sooner Rather Than Later
You don’t have to wait until your kids are older to sign them up for swimming lessons. Babies as young as six months enjoy Mommy and Me-type swimming classes at the local swim school, and by the time they are toddlers, they can often work one-on-one with a swim instructor. As IntheSwim.com notes, parents make great swim teachers for their toddlers too; start by sitting together at the edge of the pool to show how fun it is to kick your legs and splash. If your little one is smiling and having fun, encourage her to step into the pool on the steps while holding your hand. You can also use the classic “blowing bubbles” trick to get your toddler used to having his face in the water; these seemingly simple tips will help show your child that the pool is a fun place to be.
Take a Few Lessons Yourself
If you are not a comfortable or adept swimmer — and it’s perfectly okay to admit that you are not — it’s a good idea to sign up for a few adult swim lessons to learn the basics. As Kids Health notes, this way, if one of your young children starts to struggle in the pool, you will have the necessary skills to reach her and help. Also, if your toddler watches from your spouse’s lap as you swim around the pool, he will be more likely to want to copy you and get in the water with you.
Be Within an Arm’s Reach of Your Toddler
Some toddlers enjoy floating in an inflatable toddler swim ring; if this sounds like your water baby, never assume that the swim ring will take the place of your constant supervision. Get in the pool with your child and stay within an arm’s reach of the swim ring at all times. If your toddler starts squirming and tumbles off into the water, you can grab her right away. Also, keep your eyes on your child at all times, even if he is just sitting on the pool steps; kids move fast and you don’t want your little one to fall in the water.
Drain Wading Pools When Not in Use
If you don’t have a full-sized backyard pool, you might have a child’s plastic splash pool instead. While these can be great fun and they get your toddler used to splashing in cool water, you want to exercise the same vigilant caution as you do with a big pool. Sit right by the toddler pool and push pool toys back and forth to your child. When pool time is over, drain the pool completely. Kids can drown in just a few inches of water.