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With warmer weather (hopefully!) and holidays on the horizon it’s really important to talk to your children about the dangers of water and water safety. Maybe show them
a ‘drowning prevention’ film on YouTube but be sure to vet the films first as some are pretty harrowing.
Without a doubt the most important fundamental swimming skill for your child to learn, whatever their age, is how to get onto their back in a horizontal position and float in a star shape. This will aid their swimming development and is a key self-rescue skill.
Unless this is practiced a person’s natural reaction, when struggling in water, is to attempt a walking action in a vertical position and panic. It’s almost impossible to float in a vertical position and the walking action in water uses unnecessary energy.
Next time you go to the pool with your child practice floating with them. Start using aids such as kickboards and noodles and as they get more confident
gradually take the aids away. When they’ve mastered floating on their backs move on to getting into the floating position from different starting points such as from standing, from their front, from a surface dive to the bottom and from jumping in.
Check that their swimming teacher is practicing these skills with them and talking to them about water safety.
Kimberley Swim Clinics, 15 April 2018