If you and your family spend a lot of time near water, you should be aware of the infant swimming resources available to help you teach your baby water safety. Aquatics experts recommend teaching your child about water at about six months old.
Resources for Infant Swimming
There are numerous resources available to you to help keep your baby safe in or near the water. You can find resources both locally, as well as online. Hiring a certified swim instructor is a smart first step to teaching baby to swim
Before introducing your baby to water, make sure you are properly prepared and that the necessary precautions have been made before allowing your new baby near water.
There are many places in which an infant can drown including:
- Public Pools
- Private Pools
- Ponds or lakes
If you own a pool, you want to make sure that your child is safe from accidentally falling into the water.
The most important safety tip is to make sure your child is supervised at all times. It only takes a second for your child to drown. Turning your back to say "hello" can be enough time for your child to fall in.
If you are easily distracted, avoid calling your friends to come swim when you have your baby with you. Never leave your child alone in or near the water, including the bathtub.
Gates or fences
Any type of barrier that your child cannot climb or get around is good. Keep in mind that your child will grow, and so will his abilities. A newborn soon becomes a toddler who will look for ways to satisfy his curiosity. Have a lock on the gate and make sure the entrance is securely closed and latched when you are not using it. Have your barrier routinely inspected, as it can get weathered, holes, or lose its strength over time.
If you are visiting a location that has water, like a pool, beach or pond, make sure you have your child within your sight at all times. Don't assume that because the water may be out of direct view, your child is safe.
Check the Pool First
If your child is ever missing, always check the pool first. A difference in seconds can save his life.
If you have not already, take a child CPR class so you will be prepared in the unfortunate event that your child finds himself in a situation where he is drowning or hurt. Call your local Red Cross or hospital to find out when the next class begins. If you leave your child with a babysitter, make sure she is trained in CPR.
Don't Rely on Floatation Devices
Though "floaties" can be a good and fun tool for infants and toddlers learning to swim, they are not meant to be a life saving device. They can also give your child a false sense of safety and security. Leaving your child unattended with a floatation device could be very dangerous. If you need to leave the pool, even if just for a quick minute, take your child out with you.
Infant Swimming Resources Links
- Infant Swimming Resources' goal is to prevent drowning by teaching infants to swim. They begin swim lessons as young as 6 months, focusing on how baby can save himself if he falls into the water. Instructors can be found worldwide. Your infant will learn how to hold his breath underwater, roll onto his back and float unassisted.
- The Trevor "Birdie" Davis Water Safety Foundation was started in June of 2006 after he drowned at 26 months old. The mission of the foundation is to save innocent lives through education and awareness of water hazards for both children and adults.
- Teach Your Child to Swim Parents' Guide is a book recommended for parents of children ages 3 months and up. It offers advice on teaching your child to swim from his first trip to the pool to learning strokes and building confidence.