Safe Swimming for Infants and Tots1 Comments
Swimming is the number one family recreational sport -- a year round activity enjoyed by every member of the family regardless of age.
Unfortunately, drowning is also the leading cause of accidental death of children under age five. Now there is a water safety instruction program which guides parents through the most adventurous years of child's life: birth to age five.
Parents Are A Baby's First and Best Teacher
The Diaper Swim Vest is designed for use by parents at home in the warmth and comfort of the family bath where the water is warm and clean. Young babies have the memory of swimming and floating in mother's womb. Babies love their daily bath and bathing a baby as he floats around the bath on top of the water provided the baby with the opportunity of learning the 'back float survival position.'
When a young baby first learns physical skills such as rolling over in his crib and later learns to sit up, he proudly remembers how he performed this remarkable skill and will continue to do it every day until he is ready to master the next skill of standing up!
Learning To Float And To Swim Is A Physical Skill
Babies cannot understand the theory of swimming but they will learn by 'touch and feel' and the swimming skill learned will remain in his memory bank forever. Newborn babies have a natural feel for floating. A baby's head is the heaviest part of the body and it is the head, which must remain on top of the water at all times.
The main feature of the Diaper Swim Vest is the head support panel, which has a cut-out hole. Even the youngest baby quickly learns that the head must stay in the strategically placed hole. He instantly realizes that if he turns his head too far to the right or too far to the left, water will enter his nose and mouth. He instinctively knows that he must keep his breathing passages 'out of' and 'clear of' the water. The six pieces of Coast Guard approved flotation foam are sewn in separately and placed strategically to support the baby on top of the water.
The Diaper Swim Vest has a lose fit, the baby does not feel harnessed. Each piece of foam will move separately and simultaneously according to the strength and movement of the baby's arm movement and leg kicking. The flotation provided and the freedom of movement lets the baby feel his swimming skills. Parents who continue daily 'bath tub swimming' with their baby throughout the first twelve months will have reinforced through repetition, their baby's knowledge of water safety and will have a toddler who has learned all of the following before his first birthday: learned to recognize his own physical limitation of survival in the water learned to respect the danger that water poses to his survival learned that his head position is the key to survival, keeping breathing passages clearlearned that he cannot breath if he is 'face down' in the water learned that he can use his legs to turn himself over on to the back float position learned to stay in the back float position and scream until help arrives
Parents have their responsibilities in securing safety for their children. I constantly see parents playing in the pool with their toddlers, having them jump into their arms and naturally the child is squealing with delight. Toddlers should not exposed to any type of pool playing if they have not first been exposed to the danger of water and until they learn that their are limitations to their survival in the water! Babies enjoy the pleasures of water from birth.
Toddlers should be wearing the Flotation Swim Suit (step 2) of the 1-2-3 Swim program at all times when around water, and if there is a back yard pool they should be wearing the Flotation Swim Suit from the time they are up and around. It is not enough to just put the swimsuit on the child, the child must be taught how to use it and swim in it. It is simple, the parents need only minutes to encourage the toddler to 'run or pedal' with his legs and 'pull' with his hands, the basic swimming exercises of the dog paddle.
The Flotation Swim Suit has outside pockets into which are inserted eight 6" styrofoam tubes giving maximum buoyancy and allowing countless hours of pool pleasure. Toddlers can jump in and slide while wearing the swimsuit. As the child's swimming skills are reinforced, the parents can remove one tube at a time, reducing the buoyancy which will require the toddler to work harder and will strengthen his movements as he continues to gain confidence.
As soon as the parents can safely remove four of the flotation tubes from the swimsuit, the toddler is ready for the back float (step 3) of the 1-2-3 Swim program. The back float is a football shaped, inflated, swim teach aid. It is the most comfortable of all swimming aids as it does not affect the movement of the arms. Young children can be taught stroke technique while wearing the back float, and the back float can be deflated by the parent as the child progresses. Babies who are exposed to water and swimming early in life will be ready to use the back float before they turn two years of age!
Fatigue always presents a dangerous risk factor. Young children will play, play, play and will forget to stop to rest. The wearing of swim flotation devices gives the children the chance to enjoys hours of swimming pleasure while giving parents an opportunity to spend quality time with their children. All three flotation aids of the 1-2-3 Swim program and swim teaching aids must be used under parental supervision at all times. They are not Coast Guard approved life saving devices and should not be placed on a child as protection when using any type of watercraft.
There are millions of homes in North America who have a home on the water and a pool in the back yard! Swimming is the number one family recreational sport, a year round activity enjoyed by every member of the family regardless of age. Families can only enjoy their time around the water when every member of the family from babies through to adults honor the pool safety rules and respect the limitations of survival of humans in the water and are aware of the risk and hazard when these rules are broken.
The American Academy Of Pediatrics and Safe Kids gives us these deadly statistics: drowning is the leading cause of death of youngsters in the United States at the time of drowning, 70% of all preschoolers who drown are in the care of one or both parents a swimming pool is 14 times more likely that a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child under age 4 one third of comatose drowning victims will suffer permanent brain damage the majority of child drownings occur in home or apartment building swimming pools boating accidents account for 5% of the drownings in the United States for children under fifteen years of age
The American Academy Of Pediatrics Does not recommend enrolling babies and children under the age of three in swimming lessons, advising parents to be aware of the risks involved, i.e. harmful pool chemicals used to treat the water, fecal contamination, cold water and drafty buildings, and the risk involved when swim instructors submerge babies and toddlers. The Academy also insists that parents who do enroll their baby in swim classes must accompany and participate in the water. Submersion is always danger to everyone of all ages. We cannot survive under water, and all swimming is done on top of the water.
1-2-3 SWIM is a program conceived by Regent LaCoursière, a world champion long distance swimmer. LaCoursière is the owner of a private swim school in Montreal, Canada, where his teaching spans forty years and where he has given over 1,000,000 swimming lessons to date.
For additional information about 1-2-3 Swim products, call 1-800-936-6243 or visit their website at www.swimbabies123.com.
Produced for 1-2-3 Swim CONTACT: Mary LaCoursière 514/354-9200
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