Here are the top tips from Libby Trickett, Olympian and SwimFin brand ambassador
I started to learn to swim at the age of one and joined my first club when I was four. As soon as I had my first club race, I was absolutely hooked! I’ve always been really passionate about getting Australian kids more comfortable and confident around water, and since retiring from competitive swimming, I’ve made it my mission to do everything I can to make this happen. Being in the water is such a huge part of Australian culture, and I think it’s really important to encourage children to learn to swim sooner and enjoy the experience while they are learning.
Here are my top tips for teaching children to swim, getting them excited about it and general swim safety:
- Ensure constant supervision when children are around water – whether it’s a bathtub, wading pool, spa or swimming pool.
- Use a proven buoyancy aid like SwimFin, to help them gain confidence in the water and learn to swim. SwimFin is a unique, self-adjusting, learn to swim aid for kids which can be purchased online for $39.95 at www.swimfin.com.au
- Teach young children to swim as soon as possible – with SwimFin, children can start learning as early as 2 years old.
- Get children comfortable in the water first – sitting on a stair in the pool or being in the bathtub from a young age is a good way to get kids feeling at ease in and around water.
- Use a buoyancy aid with a bright colour, so it is easier to keep an eye on your children at busy pools or beaches.
- The first four things to learn include floating, blowing bubbles, treading water and doggy paddle – these foundations are important for breathing, movement and control.
- Once these skills are mastered, it is time to develop the four competitive swimming strokes (all of which can be learnt whilst wearing the SwimFin): freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen (reapply frequently), UV sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing.
- Kids should drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to prevent dehydration.
- If a child is shivering or experiencing muscle cramps, get them out of the water immediately.
Libby Trickett is the brand ambassador for SwimFin in Australia and New Zealand. SwimFin straps on high up around the back, allowing complete freedom of movement for the arms and legs, unlike other flotation devices such as arm bands and noodles. It has been proven to help children have more confidence in the water and learn to swim faster (by up to 30%). SwimFin is suitable for all ages from two years and up and all abilities and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It can be used to assist learning all four strokes, including backstroke.
It is available for purchase at www.swimfin.com.au with an RRP of $39.95.
See the SwimFin in action here: