No matter who we are, most of our favorite vacation spots include water. Whether we are driving to the Oregon cost, camping at our cabin on the lake, or taking our long-awaited trip to the Bahamas, we love the water! And our kids love it too. That’s why teaching your kids to swim is an essential travel skill. You don’t want to have to worry about them falling into the hotel pool for the rest of their childhood. I promise that helping your kids with water safety will be a huge stress relief on vacations from now until the end of time.
If you have little ones, it’s a really good idea for both Mom and Dad to get familiar with child CPR. The best way to do this is to take a class at somewhere like the American Red Cross or at your local Swimming Pool. When you go on vacation there won’t always be a lifeguard around. Make sure you know what to do if your kids get into trouble in the water.
It’s also a good idea to teach your children the importance of a swimsuit. This may sound silly but if you drill it into their heads that they need a swimsuit to swim, they will be much less likely to jump into the water with their clothes on. Help them pick out a suit that they like and will be exited to wear. Make a big deal about putting on their swimsuit so that they know that swimming is something you get ready for and do together.
They are never too young to start learning. While you cannot expect that your 1-year-old is going to swim by herself, she can still
be exposed to the water and learn not to fear it. Take her with you in the water as much as possible. Help her get used to feeling safe in the water as you hold her. A baby will naturally hold their breath if you blow on their face. So, when you think they are ready, count 1…2…3…, blow on their face and briefly and gently dunk them just under the surface of the water. This will help them get used to holding their breath and having water over their heads.
As they get a little older you can teach them to blow bubbles, kick their legs and help them learn to float on their backs. You can do a lot of the instruction yourself but if you aren’t comfortable teaching your own children to swim, find a friend who is or put them in formal swim lessons. Vacations, especially summer vacations, will inevitably come with their fair share of H2O. Give yourself peace of mind by teaching your kids to swim well and swim early.