How much do you enjoy going to the pool as a family? I often wish I could stay home and watch a show instead of overseeing my children at the neighborhood pool, but kids want to swim and off to the pool I go. I recently found out that my daughter can go to the pool on her own when she turns ten. She is excited, but I am a bit concerned—is she REALLY ok being in the water without me watching her every move?
Kristie, the general manager of the Goldfish Swim School in Mundelein, Illinois, thinks this question doesn’t have a simple yes or no answer. There are some things that have to be considered.
Is Your Child a Good Swimmer?
All kids love playing in the water, but how good is your child at swimming? If you know that your son or daughter is a good swimmer, who won’t panic while underwater and can reach the shallow end of the pool on his own, you can consider letting him or her be in the water alone. However, there are other variables to consider.
How Deep is It?
Are there parts of the pool where the water is over your child’s head? If you are on the lake or another open body of water make sure to check out the water first before letting your child explore it.
Do You Trust Your Child?
Is your child a good listener? If your son or daughter has a selective hearing (I have one of those), pushes the limits, and often doesn’t follow the rules s/he might not be ready to swim on her own just yet. Some kids are daredevils and will need adult supervision to make sure they stay safe while swimming.
Is This a Party?
Often, when a group of kids plays together the usual rules, go out the window and all over sudden your cautious child is doing all kinds of crazy things. It is a well-known fact, kids get too excited and might lose sight of the potential risks. In the fun of things, it is a lot easier to miss a possible injury or emergency situation.
Better with a Buddy
Having a buddy is not just fun. It is also a security feature—to make sure there is someone around if there is a need for assistance.
What is the plan?
Does your child know what to do in a case of emergency? Talk about what to do before going to the pool. Goldfish Swim School teachers do an incredible job teaching kids safety skills in the class starting as early as five months old. My youngest one started his swim classes when he was that age and one of the most valuable skills he mastered were how to get back to the wall and crawl to safety.
Be aware of the medical conditions and how they may affect your child in the water.
If you want to learn more about basic water safety skills or get your child started, stop by your local Goldfish Swim School to see if they have any events coming up or try a class.
This post originally appeared on Way 2 Good Life. It has been reprinted with permission.