When it comes to fun times for children, a splash in the pool is hard to beat. Here’s how to emerge from a kids’ swimming session with your sanity intact – no tears, tantrums or trauma necessary.
Feed and water them
There’s nothing like a low blood sugar level to ruin a family swim, so the trick is to plan ahead with small, healthy snacks. Before your swim they’ll help provide the energy your child needs; afterwards they’ll help fuel and replenish. Don’t forget a drink for each child in your care – pools can be dehydrating.
Got a baby? Bring a changing mat
Anyone who has tried to juggle dressing themselves while simultaneously drying/holding a crying, wet baby will attest, having somewhere safe and dry to put your child while you use your hands to grab towels/nappies/clothes is a lifesaver. Yes, some pools provide their own changing mats, but during busy times you don’t want to be left with just the towel-on-a-hard-wet- floor option.
Create a swim kit checklist
OK, it’s only a trip to the pool, but you don’t want to arrive in the changing room having forgotten arm bands, swim nappies (tip: pack a spare), normal nappies, your children’s swimwear, towels and your swimsuit.
Emphasise pool safety rules
Knowledge of swimming pool safety could save your child’s life, so start drilling it into them from their first visit. Explain clearly why they can’t run and push others. Show them where the shallow end is, and why the deep end requires caution. Demonstrate how to enter the pool safely, where they can hold on and how they can get out.
No child should ever be left unsupervised in the pool, no matter how confident they appear to be, but the knowledge you instil in your child now could prevent accidents in the future.
Remove the fear factor
Plenty of children have a fear of putting their faces in the water. To help yours become familiar with getting their face wet, try them with a pair of goggles (try Speedo Sea Squad Flexifit Skoogle Goggle) – often it’s water in the eyes and being unable to see that children fear the most. See if they can blow bubbles in the water and then progress to putting their face in (wearing their goggles), while you distract them from their fear by asking if they can spot their own toes, or your face, underwater.
Check your pool timetable
No-one wants to turn up with kids during lane swimming, so check your local pool times before you go. The neat Speedo Fit app makes light work of this – use it to find your local pool and check its swim timetable. Simple.
Make it fun
Children love games and swim races in the pool just as much as they love them out of it. If you come armed with a variety of pool party game suggestions, imaginative play scenarios and pool toys, your children will have hours of fun.
Use Speedo Sea Squad Dive Puzzle to create search and rescue games or declare that they’re pirate treasure, ripe for plundering – guaranteed to liven up kids’ swimming sessions.
Finally, try to relax. All gone to pot? Don’t stress if your little ones don’t enjoy it on this occasion. There’s always next time! For more news and tips visit our news, tips and techniques section.