Swimming lessons not in your budget? There are other ways in keeping our children safe around water. Here are some basic learn to swim tips & the 7 best water safety devices for kids.

Children or adults starting learn to swim, should work with a certified swim instructor. It’s the best way to stay safe and learn the correct stroke techniques. But what if your budget does not allow it?

7-best-water-safety-devices-for-kids

Some swim schools offer a free trial lesson – (Aquawolf do) It is expected from the coach to do a thorough assessment to establish the correct structured program needed for appropriate progress of the swimmer. The coach will gladly share his/her thoughts with the parent. That is a great starting point.

Starting to learn to swim requires a few basic skills. Respect for water, breathing, kicking, arm motion, etc. There are many fun things you can do to teach your kids these basic swimming skills. I know a coach that uses different catchy phrases to teach techniques same as in this article. Read more

Below the basic (in a nutshell) program a swim school will use. 

 

1.Teaching your child to learn to swim is to help them love the water. If they have a fear of water, you will need to be patient and just work harder. Each little swimmer must master specific skills before progressing on to the next level, regardless of the child’s age. 

2. Brand new to swimming, children learn to hold their breath and put their faces in the water – ‘blow bubbles or talk to the fishies’. They also develop a bond with and trust for their in swim coach.

3. Once proficient in holding their breath and putting their faces in the water they begin to learn how to float, fetch toys underwater, and perform basic strokes with the help of their instructor. In this stage, they grasp rhythmic breathing and explore the freestyle stroke.

4. Children can float unassisted for up to five seconds, retrieve toys in 1.2 m of water, and perform assisted back floats. They will learn to float on their back without assistance, move independently from the front floating position to a back float position, and kick in streamline for +/- 3m. Additionally, children further develop their freestyle stroke by beginning to learn how to side breath with assistance from their coach.

5. Already able to float on their backs, transition from front floats to back floats, and perform assisted side breathing. In this group children progress in strength and technique. Here, children begin to kick in streamline on their front and back. They develop their backstroke and learn to swim freestyle with unassisted side breathing. Additionally, they start developing diving skills by performing sit dives.

6. Swimmers are moving through the water unassisted with skill. Now, they begin to learn new techniques, including the breaststroke and butterfly kick. They also graduate from sit dives to knee dives.

7. Swimmers finalize the development of their core swimming skills. Here they become proficient at all four competitive strokes – freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Additionally, they learn to become comfortable with deck dives.

Although it sounds technical & complicated (and it is!!) every parent should at least make the effort and give it your best shot in trying to teach your child the basics of water safety. It’s not impossible. Speak to your local swim school or approach a college swimmer to give you a hand in return for some pocket money. But, just do it!

Swimming aids does not make your child drown-proof. Here are the 7 best water safety devices for children that are also NRCS approved.

Swim schools normally use limited safety swimming equipment as we need the kids to be as comfortable as possible. Certain water safety devices can be  hinderance to certain movements required.  Noodles, mats, lot’s of toys, ramps, kickboards, swim cap, goggles & fins are the basics. The safety devices that we will discuss here, are ‘helping’ aids aimed at assisting parents keeping our children safe. The main priority is SUPERVISION.

7-best-water-safety-devices-for-kids

I’m very sceptical when it comes to inflatable flotation devices such as water wings, swim rings etc. A child could potentially slip out of them and they are made out of material that can easily get punctured. Parents may become less observant thinking floaties are safe. Water wings teach kids improper swimming habits. Here are the 7 best water safety devices for kids that I could find. Most are very affordable, yet very good quality.

1 – The SwimFin  flotation device, should be worn high on the back using the two straps, above the centre of gravity. This way it will help to position the child in the water. It will not tip a child forward if worn correctly. It’s the only vertical aid worn on the back that allows the arms and body total freedom of movement in the water. Suitable for kids from 18 months.

7-best-water-safety-devices-for-kids

2. Konfidence floatsuit. It’s made from soft Lycra and suitable for ages 1-5 years. The swimsuit has 8 removable floats around the middle. You can choose to keep them all in or slowly remove them as they get more confident in the water.

3. Swim vest – 2-3 years (15-18kgs)-3-4 years (18-30kgs) 5-6 years (18-30kgs)

NRCS approved flotation inserts, promotes confidence in learning to swim, high quality construction & superior design for ease of movement

7-best-water-safety-devices-for-kids

4. Back float – 

1 size:
 2-6 years (15-30kgs)


 NRCS approved
– fully adjustable
– remove one layer at a time as child gains confidence in water.

5. Swim belt

1 size: 3-6 years (18-30kgs)
– NRCS approved
– fully adjustable
– remove one block at a time as child gains
confidence in water

7-best-water-safety-devices-for-kids

6. Girls Float suit

3 sizes:
 2-3 years (15-18kgs)
 3-4 years (18-30kgs)
 5-6 years (18-30kgs)
– NRCS approved
– flotation inserts
– promotes confidence in learning to swim
– high quality construction
– superior design for ease of movement – UPF50 sun protection

7-best-water-safety-devices-for-kids

7. Boys Float suit

 3 sizes:
 2-3 years (15-18kgs)
 3-4 years (18-30kgs)
 5-6 years (18-30kgs)
– NRCS approved
– flotation inserts
– promotes confidence in learning to swim
– high quality construction
– superior design for ease of movement – UPF50 sun protection

7-best-water-safety-devices-for-kids

So there we have it. The 7 best water safety devices for kids in 2020. My humble opinion regarding the above-mentioned products is based on quality, price and speaking to parents who use them. But again I emphasise the fact that while these devices will assist in water safety, it cannot make children drown-proof. Take on the task of teaching them the basics in learning to swim….and remember SUPERVISION