The sooner you can introduce your child to water the better, swimming will teach your child a vital life skill and it has even been shown to improve the way that babies and toddlers learn other skills. Swimming can offer your baby a physical work-out, strengthening his or her muscles, heart and lungs, it will aid in the development of co-ordination. Swimming has been shown to be very beneficial for a child’s developing brain.
Organized parent and baby swimming sessions usually start from a couple of months old but there is no reason not to start your child swimming right away. You don’t even need to go to the local leisure club to teach your little one to swim, you can start your baby of in the bath or home pool. Babies can get a chill easily so be sure the bath or pool water is nice and warm.
A home pool is great if you have a baby but it can also pose safety risks particularly for toddlers, the American Red Cross says, more 200 small children drown in backyard swimming pools every year. In this post we are going to look at some of the things you can do to keep your child safe in and around the backyard pool. Many of the below tips do not just apply to swimming pools, they would also be worth bearing in mind if you have a hot tub or fish pond.
We are sure you would do this anyway. When you have a home pool keep your children supervised all times. Stay within an arm’s length of your child or any other children that might be visiting. If you are having a family gathering or some kind of a pool party appoint a responsible grown up to act as lifeguard and watch the water when everyone is in the pool. Children could wear arm bands or a life jacket for extra protection.
If you have a pool in the backyard it maybe a good idea to learn resuscitation, this is part of pool lifeguard training and is not just applicable around the pool. Get some safety equipment to keep around the pool too.
Keep Doors Closed
Keep your doors closed on days when the pool is not in use, children can just slip out from under your nose sometimes so it is always best to keep all doors locked and all hazards out of reach.
Install some form of fence around your pool, you could build the fence yourself or buy one from a specialist supplier. If you build the fence yourself make sure you install a self-closing gate. It is also possible to install pool covers, these have more than one benefit. A pool cover will stop unattended children, leaves, pets or wild animals form entering the pool and it will stop heat from leaving it.
Netting is good for fish ponds too, like the pool cover mentioned above it will stop garden debris, pets, wild animals and children from entering the water. Netting is often used over fish ponds as it stops herons and cormorants from stealing or stabbing the fish.
Get a Dog
This one is a bit off the wall bear with me. A family dog can offer your child great protection, there have been many instances where the family dog has saved a child from a danger of some kind. Cute stories of how dogs have saved family members from a disaster are regularly reported in the news, have a look at the below video:
It’s not just around the home pool that a dog might save your child, dogs have been reported to save children from kidnappers, snakes, speeding cars and even bears:
Just search Google, “dog saves child” you will find many instances of dogs saving family members.
Teach Your Child To Swim
We have covered a few benefits of baby swimming above but this could well be the biggest benefit if you have a home pool.
Prevention of bacteria in the home pool is not just related to child safety, bacteria can pose a threat to all pool users. Ensure your water is clean and that the chemical levels are kept at a constant. Swimming pool bacteria can cause ear infections, sore throats and stomach upsets.
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