Splash-happy swimming tips for toddlers

With swimming weather in full swing, follow our advice for safe, splash-tastic fun in and around pools, including tips from Olympic swimmer and mum-of-three Sam Riley.

Getty images
With swimming weather in full swing, follow our advice for safe, splash-tastic fun in and around water, including tips from Olympic swimmer and mum-of-three Sam Riley.

Watch out

Supervision of children can become a grey area at pool and beachside gatherings. Rob Bradley, CEO of the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia (RLSSA), says, “Don’t make the assumption that someone else is watching your kids.”

Actively supervising your child means they have your complete attention the whole time they are in or around water, and you are never more than arm’s length away. Creating a designated ‘child supervisor’ roster during gatherings is one way of ensuring that children are watched at all times. Check out www.keepwatch.com.au for more information.

Barrier protection

While home pools present the biggest risk of drowning for children under five, other hazards include bathtubs and spa baths, water features, inflatable paddling pools and household items such as buckets, Eskies and even nappy buckets – all require an effective barrier to prevent children from accessing them unsupervised. For more pool safety tips, head to www.homepoolsafety.com.au.

Pool fences are enforced by legislation and must be inspected regularly, as well as gates and covers. Correct barriers must also be in place around new water features. Also keep chairs, stools, pot plants and even bikes away from pool fences, as a child can use them to reach a gate or scale a fence.

Related video: Sam Riley’s Pool Fence Safety Checklist

Take the plunge

One of the best ways to keep your kids water-safe is to enroll them in swimming lessons, as it can aid water awareness, build confidence and it’s a great way to bond with your baby. Enrolment at four to six months is a good time to start. Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling.

  • Choose a swim school with a well-maintained pool and good facilities.
  • Have a dress rehearsal at home so your child becomes familiar with wearing swimsuits and goggles.
  • Arrive early to lessons so he can ease into the surroundings.
  • Take pre-schoolers to the toilet just before lessons to avoid disruptions.
  • Keep your child away from the pool edge and make sure he doesn’t run on the slippery decks.
  • Praise achievements and lay off the pressure; he will progress in his own time.


Slip, slap, slop

Stick with SPF30+ No formulation blocks the sun’s rays completely, but a broad-spectrum SPF30+ means the skin will take 30 times longer than unprotected skin to burn.
Cover the small bits Ears, backs of necks and lips all need protection from the sun.
Choose wisely A sensitive, fragrance-free formulation is a good option for children’s delicate skin.
Apply generously The Cancer Council has found that rarely is sufficient sunscreen applied to completely protect the skin.
Check the use-by date Sunscreens, like other cosmetic products, expire.
Wear protective clothing A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt will physically block the sun’s rays.
Be diligent Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out and every two hours after, especially if you’re in and out of the water.
Store safely Keep sunscreen out of direct sunlight and away from the heat as high temperatures will reduce the formulation’s effectiveness.

Need to know

  • Enrol in a first-aid course or update your skills so you know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if required. Visit www.stjohn.org.au for details.

  • Remove a drowning casualty from the water if you can – without assisting beyond your own ability.

  • Dial 000 (or 112 from mobile phones). The operator will advise you until paramedics arrive.

For more great advice on how to get water-wise, watch Olympic swimmer Sam Riley’s Swimming Tips for Toddlers video below.

12:0AM, Jan 31st 2013

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • This week is Legacy Week which raises funds to support the families of our service men and women who don't return from war. 
These Legacy Bears are a great way to raise money for Australian children whose parents paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Choose from Sailor Tom, Soldier Dan, Nurse Mary, Digger Ted or Fighter Pilot Eric 👌🏼 #LegacyWeek #Legacy #LegacyBears

    mother and baby This week is Legacy Week which raises funds to support the families of our service men and women who don't return from war. These Legacy Bears are a great way to raise money for Australian children whose parents paid the ultimate sacrifice. Choose from Sailor Tom, Soldier Dan, Nurse Mary, Digger Ted or Fighter Pilot Eric 👌🏼 #LegacyWeek #Legacy #LegacyBears

    More from the team
  • Truth 🙌🏼💤

    mother and baby Truth 🙌🏼💤

    More from the team
  • Besotted new mum @lucyliu has shared this sweet photo of her newborn son Rockwell in her arms. The actress has thanked her Instagram followers for all their well-wishes after she announced his birth last week 💙👶🏼🍼

    mother and baby Besotted new mum @lucyliu has shared this sweet photo of her newborn son Rockwell in her arms. The actress has thanked her Instagram followers for all their well-wishes after she announced his birth last week 💙👶🏼🍼

    More from the team
  • Congratulations to swimming golden girl @libby_trickett on the safe arrival of her beautiful baby girl Poppy Frances Trickett. Who needs a gold medal when you've got an angel in your arms?! All our best wishes to you, Libby and Luke 👶🏼🎀🍼💞

    mother and baby Congratulations to swimming golden girl @libby_trickett on the safe arrival of her beautiful baby girl Poppy Frances Trickett. Who needs a gold medal when you've got an angel in your arms?! All our best wishes to you, Libby and Luke 👶🏼🎀🍼💞

    More from the team
  • Every gift needs the perfect finishing touch, yeah? This personalised wrapping paper looks perfect for Father's Day! via @lovejkaustralia

    mother and baby Every gift needs the perfect finishing touch, yeah? This personalised wrapping paper looks perfect for Father's Day! via @lovejkaustralia

    More from the team
  • These twins just made our day. Their chubby cheeks and coordinated onesies are adorable. Such cutie-pies 👶🏼💙👶🏼🎀🍼 via @_renee_dyson_

    mother and baby These twins just made our day. Their chubby cheeks and coordinated onesies are adorable. Such cutie-pies 👶🏼💙👶🏼🎀🍼 via @_renee_dyson_

    More from the team
  • To celebrate springtime Mother & Baby have an amazing giveaway with a huge stash of prizes to be won. Click the link on our profile to see the full details and to enter!

    mother and baby To celebrate springtime Mother & Baby have an amazing giveaway with a huge stash of prizes to be won. Click the link on our profile to see the full details and to enter!

    More from the team
  • It's here! We've got some exciting things happening to celebrate springtime with you. Stay tuned! 💐☀️😎

    mother and baby It's here! We've got some exciting things happening to celebrate springtime with you. Stay tuned! 💐☀️😎

    More from the team
  • Looking for Father's Day ideas for dad this year? These @lovedbymama matching jumpers are on the money 💙👌🏼👶🏼

    mother and baby Looking for Father's Day ideas for dad this year? These @lovedbymama matching jumpers are on the money 💙👌🏼👶🏼

    More from the team
  • Have you met @little.linzi yet? Linzi has been renovating her daughter's dollhouse with everything miniature and it is adorable. Follow the #maddiesdollhousereno hashtag to see all the amazing mini dollhouse stylings. We can't help but feel seriously envious. Maddie's dollhouse is more stylish than our own grown-up homes 😍❤️🏠

    mother and baby Have you met @little.linzi yet? Linzi has been renovating her daughter's dollhouse with everything miniature and it is adorable. Follow the #maddiesdollhousereno hashtag to see all the amazing mini dollhouse stylings. We can't help but feel seriously envious. Maddie's dollhouse is more stylish than our own grown-up homes 😍❤️🏠

    More from the team