As summer approaches, most kids become increasingly excited about jumping in the pool on a hot day. If you have a baby, toddler or preschooler, it’s important to properly prepare them for the upcoming pool days. By following the steps below at each age, your child will be ready to dive in like a pro.
Six Months Old
Test the waters when your child is young to familiarize him with the water. Begin in the bathtub or a kiddie pool so your child can confidently sit up on his own. As your infant becomes more comfortable, gently squeeze a sponge over his head so he can recognize what water on his face feels like. Slowly add in waterproof toys or play games like peekaboo so your child associates the water with fun experiences.
As your child gets older, take him to a family-swim period so he can see everyone having fun in a relaxed kid-friendly environment. Don’t pressure your toddler to get in the water until they’re ready. When that time comes, go into the shallow end together and hold your child under their bottom with one hand, placing the other hand around his back. As your toddler becomes more comfortable, slowly move him throughout the shallow end, constantly reassuring him.
When your child starts to feel at home in the pool, you may consider formal lessons. As you are in the water with your child, help him practice floating, stomach down with his head to the side, outside of the water. Then, have him do the same thing on his back. You can also have your child hold onto the side of the pool and practice kicking.
For more up-to-date medical information and healthy tips, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.