I am a Swimways Swim Team Ambassador. I received samples of Swimways Swim Steps products free of charge to help facilitate this review.
Yup, that’s right! It’s summer! While the official start of summer may still be a few weeks away, for us it’s already here. The kids are out of school, the weather is hot and we’re swimming every day! Now, about a month ago we made our first trip to the pool (indoor of course) to see how the kids were doing with their swimming. J-Man naturally was good to go. He’s like a little fish and can swim amazingly well. But MillerBug, well, he just kind of clings to whoever is with him. And while that was fine last year, we’re ready for some pool fun this year and that’s going to require a little independence. So, my goal going into the summer was to get MillerBug comfortable with the water so that he could have a little freedom and not have to be carried all the time. Now, as many of you may remember, I’m a Swimways Swim Team Ambassador and a few months ago we received some really amazing products. They are part of the Swim Steps program that are designed to help your child at the stage where there are.
With our starting point for the summer being what I’ll call “Clingy Clam”, we headed to the pool with our new Swimways Swim Sweater. First, I have to say that MillerBug has hated floats in the past and refuses to use them. But he was OK with putting his swim sweater on because it was so much like the swim shirts I keep him in during the summer months. I figured he’d like it for a few minutes and then move on. I was in no way prepared for what actually happened! Within 10 minutes of being in the pool with his swim sweater on, my little fish took off! I was amazed at the level of independence and confidence it gave him! Just check out this video! Yes, this was on his FIRST DAY in his swim sweater!
OK, maybe it’s just me but I think that is unbelievable progress in one day! In fact, I had to take the hubby back that night to see because even with the video, he was just so amazing that our “Clingy Clam” had turned into a little swimmer in a matter of minutes!
So, now my goals for the summer have changed! I’d love to see MillerBug become even more independent in the coming months. But I’ll be honest, if we don’t progress past we are now, I would still consider this summer a huge success! My arms are so thankful for Swimways!
So, if you are struggling with some of the same issues I did and have a child who may be a little timid around the water, be sure to check out Swimways water safety expert Mario Vittone’s article on overcoming children’s water apprehension here.
But, before we head back to the pool (cause I think that’s where we’re going to be living this summer), I wanted to share with you a few water safety tips. After all, summer is supposed to be fun and being cautious around water helps keep it that way!
Never Look Away
No matter how old your child is or how comfortable you think they are around water, make sure that there is always adult supervision. Children can often overestimate their abilities and get in trouble quickly. So make sure you’ll always aware and present (yes, the even means not playing on the phone) when your children are in or near the water.
Learn the Basics
Have your child attend a class to learn basic water safety. Education is key is water safety! May places like the YMCA offer basic beginner courses on water survival tips that teach even the youngest children what to do if they get into a scary situation. Hopefully they never need to know but be prepared in case they do!
Make Sure Toys are Appropriate
Pool toys are awesome! They are fun! And they should be age appropriate. Giving your just learning to swim toddler diving sticks may seem to keep them entertained until they spot their sibling diving for them and try to do the same. Make sure that each child has toys that are appropriate for their age and swim level and discuss with them the importance of only playing with the toys they are ready for.
Have the Right Tools
During the different stages of learning to swim, it is essential that you have the correct tools to both help your child develop their skills and allow them to feel comfortable. Make sure the tools you use are both age and swimming level appropriate. Swimways has a great Swim Steps guide that helps you to ensure that your child has the items that will help them learn to swim at each level!
Know Basic CPR
Have you ever thought about what you would do if the worst did happen? Make sure you know basic CPR skills so that in the case of an emergency you are fully prepared. Many local hospitals and even pediatrician’s offices offer quick courses on CPR that give you the basics of what to do in case of an accident.
Summer is an amazing time and one of the joys of childhood is being in the pool constantly. Ensure that you and your child are both prepared to have a happy and healthy summer by following swimming safety rules and doing everything you can to ensure that the water is exactly what it should be – an amazing place to be!