One of the most common questions I get asked has to be, “Is my child a safe swimmer?” The answer to this question largely depends on your definition of safe. For the purpose of this blog, let’s settle on a fairly basic definition of a safe swimmer; a safe swimmer is someone comfortable in deep water independent of any assistance. That being said, here are 5 skills & scenarios a safe swimmer should master.
1) Being comfortable getting their face wet WITHOUT goggles. Goggles are a great tool for swimming. I use them all the time for swimming laps. However, I often see swimmers start to panic in the pool because their goggles start leaking. I have also witnessed swimmers fail to swim back to the wall after a jump because their goggles fell off while jumping into the water. Goggles are useful tools, not a crutch. A safe swimmer should be comfortable getting their face wet without them.
2) Falling into water. A fairly simple one, right? This is referring to falling into a pool from the side, and also being knocked over while in the water. Similar to being toppled by a wave while swimming at the beach. A safe swimmer would be able to calmly handle themselves, and get to safety with no assistance.
3) Strong forward locomotion, front and back. Being able to transport themselves without assistance is essential to being a safe swimmer. Forward locomotion via “doggy-paddle,”or any other front stroke with their head up does not count. Swimming on their front side includes being able to breath consistently and efficiently.
4) Being able to rest without standing or holding on to the wall. Any safe swimmer should always be able to roll on their back, and do a nice relaxing back float whenever they need to take a break. Floating on their front is also an excellent way to rest, but they would need to be able to consistently take breaths when needed.
5) Be aware of, and obey any facility rules. This is the one big reason why kids should NEVER be in a pool without adult supervision. They just don’t have the life experience necessary to understand why the rules are so important.
While these five skills are very important, they are certainly not the only skills to consider. Jump on our social media sites to tell me what you think about the 5 Things any Safe Swimmer Should Master! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and follow us on Pinterest for updated safety articles.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Swim Safe! Swim Fast!
Mr. Eric W