Parents want the best for their children. That is why it is so important that parents are educated on the value of proper swimming techniques.
1. Do not use floatation.
2. Do not teach your child to jump into the water.
3. Enroll your child in a course that teaches swimming and floating for survival.
Puddle jumpers, arm bands and floatation devices are an easy answer, but the wrong answer. They should not be used under any circumstances, ever.
In comparison to swim lessons, puddle jumpers are cheap and readily available. They give the parents a passive option for what they think is water safety. They clip these devices on and watch their children go. So a parent thinks, “Why not try them, what do we have to lose?” Well, the answer is…your child
A child learns to take NO responsibility for their actions in and around water. They are held with their head high above the water. They learn to thrash around – kicking and splashing about.
A puddle jumper does not teach breath control. It teaches bicycle kicking in a vertical posture.
Guess what happens when a child falls into the water and does not have their puddle jumper on…they sink. They are unable to stay afloat. They learn what the puddle jumper has taught them…they go vertical expecting air. No air, they begin to struggle for survival.
Another big NO NO is to teach your unskilled child to jump off the wall to your arms. It truly is so fun to have your baby jump off the side and into your arms using their puddle jumpers. A parent gets in and endlessly encourages their child to jump to them. Off the step, off the wall, from a ledge. “Jump baby jump.” It is so fun. Until it’s not. Do not do it.
Children behave the way they are taught to. They have been taught that it is fun to jump into the pool. They find themselves alone by the water, they jump in, without supervision and without the dreaded puddle jumper. They go vertical, assuming the posture these floatation devices have taught. This posture is unsustainable. They do not stand a chance when they are vertical. These babies and young children can’t get air. Their head goes below the water and game over.
Please make sure your child is taught the correct way the first time. Swimming is a horizontal, balanced posture in the water. Not a vertical, sinking and bobbing posture for air. The kick in swimming is a nice steady flutter kick that comes from the hip and not very much knee bend. Not a bicycle kick that is encouraged by floatation. Bicycle kicking is not effective.
So please be a progressive, pioneering parent. Enroll your child in a learn to swim program that supports the fundamentals of proper swimming. One that teaches breath control, a proper, horizontal posture in the water, focuses on buoyancy and rotation to an independent and a balanced float for air.
Don’t allow or encourage floatation devices. Each child pictured below lost their lives due to once wearing a floatation device. They found themselves in the water without their floaties. Their parents wanted the best for their children. They meant well – they just didn’t know any better. But now you know. Please do not be one of these statistics. Teach your child to swim and float for safety and for fun.