According to the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), around 2,100 people in England alone are admitted to Accident and Emergency each year as a result of non-fatal drowning incidents also known as a ‘near drowning’, with thousands more incidences occurring in Wales and Scotland. Teaching water safety from a young age is so important because it is key for children to understand the dangers in the water and therefore how to behave in the water. We believe swimming is a non-negotiable life skill that parents should look to acquire for their children as soon as possible. Whilst a range of extra-curricular skills are important for children to develop as rounded individuals, none are quite as vital and fundamental as learning to swim. Swimming has always been a great recreational activity and in order for children to enjoy the environment they must feel safe.
We believe that it isn’t difficult to teach children to learn to swim and the main struggle we come across in this process is the fear of water. Obviously, if parents bring their children at an earlier age it is more than likely that they haven’t developed a fear of water and so it is easier to teach them. Ultimately, it’s important to understand that some children take longer than others to learn how to swim and they all eventually get used to it.
Learning how to be safe in water should be taken very seriously and we find fun ways to incorporate it into our games and swimming practices during a lesson. Here’s our top 3 steps in water safety…
Floating on the back
The most important skill for a child to learn for water safety is being able to float on the back on the water. This is because when you fall in the best thing is to roll onto your back and float so that you can breathe. This simple action is taught so it becomes instinct and this could be the difference between life and death.
Learning to get back to the side
Once a child has learnt how to float on their back, the next stage is to teach them how to roll from their back to their stomach and be able to kick. Focusing on them achieving a body position that is parallel to the water and kicking will enable them to get back to the side of the pool just by kicking. From an early age, we also teach reaching and holding techniques so they are able to hold onto the side to ensure they are safe. We use other techniques for how to return to the side of the pool from a jump or push and glide and sometimes use the ‘float on the back’ technique when they are tired.
Learning how to keep your head above the water
Now this sounds obvious but teaching a child to establish a good, proper upright body position in the water will in turn cause their head to be above the water. Changes to their body position will enable the child to breathe more easily without taking in water, signal for help, look around and make a decision as to where to get to safety.
If you are interested in your child learning more about water safety, call us on 0208 940 9431 or visit our website www.sportsgeneration.co.uk