At one point or another, most children are afraid of the water – especially putting their head under water. The earlier you expose your child to the water, the more it will help prevent them from fearing it.
Below are six steps to help your child conquer their fear the water.
Bring your child to the side of a pool without any water wings or flotation devices. These tools can give your child a false sense of security and will lead them to develop the habit of not going in the water without the aids.
Have your child touch the water and demonstrate to them that water is safe and won’t hurt them. You can also encourage them to splash the water to show them that water can be fun.
Have your child blow bubbles into the water using his or her mouth. You can do this by having them get into the water with you and showing them how to blow bubbles. If they are still afraid of entering the water, you can have them lay on the edge of the pool and blow bubbles without being fully submerged.
Playing games is a great way to get your child acclimated to the water. Start by throwing sinking toys into the shallow end of the water and having your child reach down to retrieve them. As they become more comfortable with the water, you can gradually throw them into deeper areas of the pool. Keep doing this until they are comfortable with putting their head completely under water to revive the toys.
Getting your child to float on their stomach or back can difficult. Start by providing support by placing your hand under your child’s stomach or back. As they begin to become comfortable with floating, remove your hand so that they are floating without assistance. Once they are comfortable with floating on their stomach, try adding in basic kicking and arm movements while you give them support by holding their stomach.
Stand close to the edge of the pool and have your child push off of the wall or jump into the water to you. After they have successfully reached you, back up a little and try it again. Take progressive steps backward until they are using basic kicking and arm movements to reach you.
Gradually your child will gain more confidence in the water, and once they properly learn how to swim they will be able to swim confidently in a pool on their own.
At Premier Aquatic Services, we specialize in acclimating young children to the water and teaching them to be safe swimmer. We even have parent and me classes for children younger than 3-year-old.
Learn more about the swimming programs we have available.