Splash-happy swimming tips for toddlers
12:0AM, Jan 31st 2013
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.
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.
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.
It's time that this new generation of hands-on dads get the acknowledgment they deserve.
Do your kids have a favourite TV show that you barely tolerate? Read Erin's latest post about her toddler's obsession with Hoopla Doopla.
mother and baby Being pregnant in Summer isn't all bikinis and floaty dresses. Today we share 10 tips to look & feel great during summertime when you've got a baby on board. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "pregnant summer" or buy the latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!More from the team
mother and baby Do you find yourself yelling at your kids when they don't listen to you or do as you ask? We learned this week that this creates a bad habit as your children learn to only respond to you when you yell - so the result is that they ignore you the rest of the time! For 7 steps on how to avoid yelling, visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "yelling".More from the team
mother and baby Baby news for our gorgeous Asher Keddie, who is expecting her first bub with her hubby. On her pregnancy cravings she revealed to news.com.au that; “I’m not big on cravings but anything dairy for some reason. I want lots of cheese and lots of pistachios.” Congrats Asher!More from the team