We hope you had an awesome weekend and celebrated National Learn to Swim Day with your family and friends! Memorial Day is coming up and that means outdoor pools across the U.S. will begin to open for summer. Are you prepared for your child’s first time in the water? If you’re looking for tips, click here to read 5 Tips for Your Child’s First Time in the Water on AltDaily.
National Learn to Swim Day will be celebrated this year during National Water Safety Month on Saturday, May 16. Founded by Swimways in 2012, National Learn to Swim Day is held on the third Saturday of May each year and provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of water safety and teaching children to swim as pools open across the U.S. for summer. Did you know that from 2010-13 drowning was the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. for children ages 1-4? Let’s help solve this problem by raising the awareness of this life-changing movement. Here are five ways you can celebrate and help: Continue reading
Create Memories That Last a Lifetime with These New SwimWays Products
We’re so excited to share our new products and some of our new styles with you for 2014! At SwimWays®, we’re always looking for ways to bring more fun to the pool, making sure your happy place is the most water-full imaginable. In addition to most of our products being available to purchase in our online store, you’ll also find us at your favorite retailers, click here to find out where to buy our products.
So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and check our what we have lined up for you this year!
Our Swim Steps Line of Products Keeps Getting Better!
The Swim Steps line of products includes items that not only help parents and guardians introduce children to the water, but we also have some great swim training tools in there too. This year we bring you Baby Spring Float Animal Friends™ featuring amazingly cute animal character heads for added interactive fun, and introducing the Kick Trainer™, a full-size EVA foam kick board with a high-performance design and a textured, molded surface that’s easy to hold onto.
Pool Noodles Made in the USA
In 2013 we started to make noodles right here in the USA at our Virginia Beach, VA headquarters! Our pool noodles come in two different sizes: Swim Noodles™ (55″ long and 2 3/8″ diameter) and Super Swim Noodles™ (55″ long and 3 1/4″ diameter). We’ve also developed a full line of accessories for our noodles, including the Noodle Head Shooter™ water squirter attachment, the Noodle Sling™ fabric attachment to create a floating chair from a noodle, and Noodle Loops™ so kids can make water rafts and floats from their own collection of noodles.
Our Pool Floats Allow You to Relax in Perfect Harmony with the Water
Our new premium pool float for 2014 is the Aquagami™, it provides a cool way to float with no inflation required. Comfortable and buoyant, this accordion-style float instantly unfolds when you’re ready to relax. Our Spring Float® line of products have also been refreshed for 2014 with new colors and graphic prints influenced by this seasons hottest trends.
Wild and Wacky Water Toys
We have just about everything kids need to soak up some serious summer fun! Watch the water go in all directions, soaking friends and family members with the new Squiggle Squirter™ and Pinwheel Squirter™. Colorful and flexible new dive toys like SquiDivers™ and Fish Styx™ will have kids everywhere diving to new depths, for lots of speedy, motorized fun Boatz™ water toys are great for the pool or bathtub, and the super squishy feeling Squid Disk™ will make a huge splash at the pool this summer.
Learning to Love the Water with Preschoolers
Some little kids might not like getting completely soaked like their older brothers and sisters, so we have a couple of alternatives that make water exploration more fun as they build confidence. Sea Squirters™ are cute water shooters available in three friendly styles: alligator, hippo and sea turtle. We’ve also refreshed the style of our popular Gobble Gobble Guppies™ to an Orca. The included floating guppies are numbered 1-5 for an added educational experience to a fun catch ’em game!
Swim Goggles and Gear for Your Entire Family!
We’re passionate about helping you create a water-full life for you and your family! So we developed a line of swimming goggles and swim masks and snorkels so you can have more fun in the water – whether swim training, competing or for general recreation. These colorful goggles and masks for children, teens and adults are available in different sizes and styles with a soft water-tight seal, easy-adjust head strap and latex-free construction. Our top pick is Gogglemates™, ouch-free swim goggles with a specially integrated neoprene strap that doesn’t get caught in children’s hair. The best thing about Gogglemates is that they float, making them easier to grab for beginning swimmers.
A Little Something for Fido
There are a lot of proud dog owners at SwimWays, sporting our newest dog product the Sea Squirts Doggie Vest™, this little cutie is owned by one of our Product Integrity team members. This dog swim vest with shark fin provides full-body flotation, supporting your pet in and around the water and the cute flexible fin and grab handle on the back allow for quick and easy pup retrieval.
What do you think of our line up coming to stores this Spring? Comment below if you have questions about product features and we’ll be happy to answer them here.
To become a swimmer your child has to first want to be in the water. Some children develop apprehension towards swimming that can stop their progress. To overcome this apprehension of water, you have to understand why it may be there in the first place, and then work to develop trust with your child where water is involved.
Parents should know that outright fear of water (aquaphobia) – characterized by screaming, panic, and avoidance of all contact with water including baths – is a situation that requires professional help. But general unease around the pool is something that parents can address.
Most children are naturally drawn to water, but there are several ways that apprehension can creep in. A child who is uneasy around water usually has a reason. Here are some examples of situations that make early swimmers not want to even try:
“If mom is afraid of the water, maybe I should be, too!” Children pick up on your apprehension of water first. If you aren’t a good swimmer and it doesn’t look like you are having fun, it’s going to be hard to convince your child that they should get in there with you. Non-swimming parents need to take lessons before trying to teach their children how to swim. I’m not suggesting that you have to become a fully qualified swim instructor (though that couldn’t hurt), but at least get to a place where you are comfortable and a strong swimmer before being responsible for your child’s introduction to the water.
If an adult ever told a child, “I won’t let go,” and then let go of them in the water, that child will find it harder to be trusting in the pool the next time. Early childhood experiences in the pool should be fun and easy. Your toddler doesn’t need to swim on their own or learn to float on their first (or even tenth) day in the pool. What they need is to feel secure, to have fun, and to learn to enjoy the water.
Make sure these early exposures are about fun and play and always be right there to help them and support them if they need it.
Baby Steps for the Babies
If your child doesn’t want you to take them out into the pool, don’t force them! Dragging them out against their will might not be the best idea. Instead, let them simply sit on the edge, or on a shallow step and play. Stay close and make the experience easy and fun.
Next, you can play games with the water. Splash and play with the water yourself first, and see if your child will mimic your behavior; splash water on your arms, and then your shoulders, and eventually on your face and head. You can use a plastic cup to pour the water on your head, showing your child that it can be fun.
As they get more comfortable, step things up and encourage them to splash you or have them pour the water on you and then themselves. These gentle and unforced interactions with you can build their trust and increase their comfort with you in the pool. Remember, there is no hurry and no need to pressure the child to go further. Just keep having fun and making the water about play, and slowly the apprehension should fade.
Stay Close and Be Supportive
Remaining within arm’s reach of your child (touch supervision) is vital for safety and also critical for trust. This is where the use of flotation devices like the Sea Squirts Swim Assist Vest can really help. They can make your child feel more at ease and they are fun for kids to wear. Remember, you want the water to be about fun for your child, and the right support can help the apprehensive swimmer venture with you out into the water.
Another way you can expose your child to the world beyond the edge of the pool is to pull them through the water on a small raft or even a SwimWays Kickboard. Have them hold on as you pull them through the pool and let them enjoy the ride! If you said you wouldn’t let go, then don’t let go. Just be there with them and make the experience positive.
It Doesn’t Have to Happen Today
Remember, there is no rush, all progress towards confidence is good, and no step is too small. Each push forward is gentle and the things they overcame earlier should be reinforced. Don’t make the work an all-day affair; end each day’s lesson on a positive note and talk about how much fun they will have the next time they swim. Tell them, “Tomorrow you can go even farther!”
A child’s apprehension around water can definitely slow progress when learning to swim, but it can be overcome with a gentle and unforced introduction to all the fun that can be had in the pool. You don’t need to be overly concerned or put pressure on them. Just develop their trust as you help them experience water in a way that is fun and makes them look forward to trying again tomorrow.