Shaping Your Children: Summer Week #2

Summer means swimming!

My summers were spent at the public pool and, yes, we rode our bikes there most days. Whether you have a public pool available, your own pool or you swim in the river, these times of freedom from the stress of schedules is so much fun!

Most children begin the summer by waking up late and spending the day either in their pajamas or their swimsuits. Who doesn’t want to do that?

As a pediatric physical therapist, here’s an important tip for you—make sure your children learn how to swim and can handle themselves safely near water. It is absolutely an essential life skill, in my opinion.

Here in Florida, water is everywhere. And when I worked in our local children’s hospital I saw way too many cases of near drowning. These were children who suffered brain damage from loss of oxygen (anoxia) because they almost drowned.

Some of that damage may be irreversible and leads to permanent disability for your child. I saw this happen to many children and, yes, even from families who were safety conscious. Don’t trust fancy door alarms and any other piece of equipment—keep your eyes on your children.

Believe me, accidents happen!

Follow me on social media for gross motor development tips your child learns while in the water!

As you plan your child’s summer, embrace the time they’ll want to be in the water and make sure they learn how to swim. Every community has swim instructors and lessons are a small price to pay for safety.

Plus, you may find your child is a water baby and one day may swim on a team. But for now, let the swimming be unstructured and non-competitive. It’s summertime!

Where were your favorite places to swim when you were young?

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