The Nest's Noticings for the Week...

Favorite Product: Fluxy - This is a great teether to "wake up" your baby's mouth muscles prior to eating!
Parenting Resource or Tip: Check out the instagram account VeggiesandVirtue for ideas on feeding especially your older kiddos!
Baby Signs to Use: Food, Eat, Drink
Baby Songs to Sing: Who Stole the Cookie?
Developmental Play Tip: CHEERIO CHALLENGE: Place Cheerios inside a plastic water bottle with no lid. Give it to baby and see if she can figure out how to get them out and into her mouth! Great for problem solving and manual dexterity.

Today's Topic:  SWIM & WATER SAFETY

Today we heard from Lisa Cook of KidSwim. Please let her know if you have any questions/concerns/thoughts about your child and swimming! She's happy to be a support. :) Here's her contact information:

Lisa Cook - KidSwim

Keep water safety at the forefront of your mind when going to visit friends/family. Make sure that they have a gate/cover over their pool or consider not taking your child with you to that friend/family member’s house.

Never let your child open the pool cover for fun and don’t give them access to the key. Uncovering the pool should be for adults only.

For parties and crowded events, put your child in a floatie. Lisa likes the ones that are the vest with the arms attached - not the ones where the arms are separate.  If you have a pool and you’re going to host a gathering, hire a lifeguard (or more than one depending on the number of guests!).

When is a child water-safe? A child can be a “good swimmer” by age 3 or 4 with constant practice and exposure from a young age. But the determination of safety is more about mental and emotional maturity. Kids are generally not truly water safe until at least 8 years old.

Exhaustion is a huge factor in drownings and often children don’t know their limits. Be aware of this with your child.

Keep big floaties/swans/tubes/etc. out of the pool during big gatherings.

Types of swim programs and swim lessons:

  • Infant rescue swim lessons - Done with very young infants typically between 6 and 12-14 months. Instructor takes the child without the parent and gets the child to roll to their back in the pool. This is effective for a finite amount of time. The kids have figured out the pattern of physical behavior but they have no idea why it’s happening and it can be emotionally difficult for the child/have an averse effect. Can also cause ear and sinus infections.
  • Intensive swim lessons - They generally don’t teach your child to breathe and teach them with an urgency. That can be a negative factor over time. You may want to follow up with a program that’s going to incorporate breathing techniques and safety techniques.
  • Parent Child Classes - Lisa loves parent/child classes because they’re a really positive way to learn about swimming and be exposed to the water. Also a great way for the parent to learn ways to work with their child in the water. There is a tipping point, usually around 2, where it’s hard to teach your own child to swim and it's better to move to private or semi-private lessons. (Ideally no more than 3 kids in a group lesson.)

From 2-4 is a very challenging time to introduce anything new to your child. Consistent exposure through Baby classes and going to pools constantly can help because you don’t need to go through that awkward “getting to know the pool” process.

Best thing to do with very young babies: start parent/child classes once a week around 6/7 months. Start up again in the spring.

What to do with your baby in the pool? 
Face forward shallow pass: gently pass baby to someone else through the water (just barely putting them under the water). Remember to say 1,2,3 before you pass baby to help them know it is coming. 
** dunking baby straight into the water is not recommended. It is not the correct positioning of swimming therefore it is not helping them in any way prepare for swimming one day. It is their impulse to suck in which will make them suck in water and it is also hard on the nose and sinuses. 

Sunscreen: Lisa’s number one recommended sunscreen is the Badger brand. You are looking for sunscreens with zinc in them. You always want to apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before getting in the water so it has time to absorb and won’t wash off right away and possibly drip into baby’s eyes. 

When your child is going to be taking group lessons without you in the pool some questions to ask are:  
What is the child to Teacher ratio? She recommends no more than 1:3 ratio
How many kids are in the class? 
Are there lifeguards on duty? 
What kind of pool is it? How deep? 
What are the rules for kids getting out of the pool? Do they do this alone, with the instructor? - 

Dry drowning: Lisa’s definition - when a child swallows water (a massive amount) and the water has nowhere to go it can settle in the lungs. Lisa described this as being a very massive amount of water.  In her 30 years of doing this she has never known a child who this has happened to. 

If you have an incident where your child is under water for a long period of time and/or swallows a massive amount of water Lisa says to take them out of the pool and...
-check their belly. Is it hard and/or distended?
- Do they seem glossy and/or unfocused?
- if you are at all concerned she recommends calling your pediatrician to seek their advice. Dry drowning does not happen instantly it is over time so you have time to call your doctor if you are concerned. 

If your child dips underwater quickly and they weren’t meaning to and are upset about it, you can say, “You have a wet face” instead of saying “oh no you went under water.” - This shows the child there is nothing wrong with dipping your head under water. 

KidSwim - water safety and swim.jpg
Jenn Langsdale