Being able to swim can sometimes save lives, and of course moving around safely in cold water is a lot of fun, especially for kids. FITBOOK reveals when to introduce your little ones to water and what you should consider when choosing a course.
Bathing season is in full swing. For most kids, there’s nothing cool on a hot day than splashing around in the outdoor pool or lake. But the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) has been warning for years that fewer and fewer children can swim. A situation exacerbated by the Corona pandemic. The later they start, the longer it takes to learn. In some cases it is necessary to survive! Therefore, the following applies: Introduce the child to swimming as soon as possible.
Corona leads to more children who are not swimmers
Indoor and outdoor pools, canceled swimming courses – for months since 2020, parents often have not had the opportunity to gain first water experiences with their children, let alone send them to swimming lessons. Thus, Corona ensured that the number of children who learned to swim is even less than what was already the case.
The pools are now open again, but this does not mean that the situation with regard to learning to swim has eased. So share z. For example, the German Life Saving Association in Bad Nenndorf reported at the end of 2021 that the demand for swimming courses for children had increased. But this cannot be achieved. Therefore, parents often have to wait a long time for their sons to be put on a swimming course.
There will only be safer swimmers among children in the long run if swimming lessons can be held again in all areas in schools. This requires more swimming pools and qualified staff in schools. and more water areas for clubs, so they can in turn train more preschoolers, according to the DLRG.
But regardless of the coronavirus situation, many parents are asking themselves basic questions: At what age should my child learn to swim? Should you start swimming for children and is the first swimming session in childhood sufficient? And what should you look for when choosing a course?
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Swimming ability levels
- water accustoming
- Basic skills
- basic level
- Safe swimming1
What does children’s swimming bring?
According to the DLRG, baby swimming is not a necessity: “But it helps children get used to the water at an early age so they don’t develop fears. In addition, it is reported that water is a great experience.” Alternatively, parents can also pass on this experience to their children. In the bathtub at home or in the paddling pool. From an educational point of view, according to the DLRG, early and fun use of water makes perfect sense
If time is lost, it is useful for parents to spend time with their slightly older offspring in the pool. Tip from the DLRG One parent sits with baby at the edge of the pool and encourages them to splash each other until they dare to dip their heads with Mom or Dad: “This way, older kids often notice that the water is a great thing.”
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What is the right time for the first swimming lesson?
“You’re obviously five years old,” the DLRG says. “Because this is exactly the point when children can coordinate three things at the same time, namely breathing, arm and leg movements. So the first swimming course must be completed before registration. As a general rule, this is always done with a seahorse and a certificate.”
“However, a seahorse does not mean that my child can suddenly swim, he is only able to move 25 meters in the water. Parents should take this into account, because these skills are in no way sufficient for unsupervised bathing in the lake.” According to experts, only the Freischwimmer badge, that is, bronze, testifies to a safe movement in the water. “Kids should have achieved it by the age of eight or nine.”
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What should parents pay attention to when choosing a swimming course?
With swimming courses offered by the DLRG or the German Swimming Federation, you are on the safe side. Not only is it relatively cheap, but it also ensures well-trained instructors are always well-trained in pedagogy and education, the DLRG advises. As certified lifeguards, they can also bravely intervene in dangerous situations.
Another tip from the DLRG for parents: “Don’t stand on the edge of the pool during training sessions, it only distracts the kids and the coaches. In the meantime, just have a coffee. The kid can learn to swim without dad or mom watching.”
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Swimming lessons at school
Swimming lessons are on the children’s agenda in elementary school at the latest. A letter from the Bundestag states: All students are obligated to take part in preliminary swimming lessons unless expressly exempted from this by a medical certificate. At the age of 10 to 12 years, the goal should be for each student to have mastered safe swimming and the skills associated with it. Based on the first level (getting used to water), students gradually learn
Master the basic skills of breathing, diving, jumping, sliding and moving needed for safe swimming.”
This is the theory. But in practice, swimming lessons are often canceled – even before Corona.3 Another reason why parents should consider enrolling their children in swimming lessons where possible is to ensure that they learn to swim safely.