Swimming Safer in Spring
With summer just around the corner, and an increase of warmer days it’s only natural that we all get excited about swimming in pools, at the beach or local river. Whilst it is always a wonderful time for many, it is also an important time to consider the swimming ability of children who may not have been in these environments for many months. For children and young people who participate in year round swimming lessons, it’s also important to remember that swimming in a controlled pool environment can be vastly different to the unpredictable conditions at the beach or local swimming spot. Check out our tips below to support your family to swim safer this Spring and in the months ahead!
1. Conduct a quick swim assessment for your family
Many families have been out of the water since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before your family spends a day around the pool, have a quick think about when they last swam. If you have children who have previously had kids swimming lessons, and have been on a break, check to make sure your children can still maintain their skills. Ask your family some water safety questions before they enter the water, make sure you have sufficient supervision and if you are unsure, there are many swim schools who will offer a free swimming assessment to support families to understand their child’s swimming ability.
2. Open water conditions change regularly
Ocean and inland waterways change all the time. The impact of the recent flooding across the state can change conditions throughout all of the river systems for many months, not just the area where the flooding takes place. Weather conditions, sand bar movement, fallen trees and a range of other factors can shift the environment your family may choose to swim in. It’s vital that before you swim, you make sure it is safe to swim. Even the strongest swimmers can be caught out if the conditions are unknown or not safe. There are many useful sites on the internet that provide regular updates on water conditions, reading the signage at the location and talking to locals is also a great way to gather information to help your family choose the right location to have a safer swim. We always recommend swimming at locations that are supervised by trained pool or beach lifeguards. Talking to lifeguards about your family and their swimming ability can also be a great help.
3. Swimming stamina is a different fitness altogether
Have you ever noticed when you swim laps for the first time in a while, you’re quite puffed out? Even if you are a fit, active person, swimming stamina is very different to general fitness. It’s important we remember that young children are exactly the same. Have you ever taken kids to the pool for a swim, and they sleep really well that night? Again, this is because swimming can really take it our of you. We recommend taking regular breaks and drinking plenty of water when swimming. It’s easy to forget these things when we are having fun around water, but they will help your families swim safer around water.
4. Floatation devices are not a substitute for swimming lessons
Last of all, as a learn to swim provider, we felt it important to remind families that whilst floatation devices are a great way to support children, they are not a substitute for swimming lessons and should never be used to dissolve the need to supervise children. Unfortunately, we hear too many reports of incidents where children have been inadequately supervised and end up in trouble in the water. Floatation devices can slip away, break or can be taken off by young children.
We hope you enjoyed reading our swimming safer in spring tips and after the last two years of limited water play, we hope your family enjoys wonderful months ahead around the water.
Stay Safe, From the Team at Just Swimming
For further information about our free swimming assessments or our swimming lessons, click here