Why are kids afraid of the pool?
My son, Tyler, has always been like a fish in the water when it comes to swimming. He's been like this since he was little! On the other hand, my daughter Stella will absolutely not without me holding her. She will scream her head off to get in the pool with me, she is so afraid. Why are kids afraid of the pool? The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children between 1-4 can start swimming lessons if they are eager to swim, but what makes them afraid of it? According to babycenter.com, being in the water can frighten kids because there seems like there isn't any boundaries and that can make them feel overwhelmed. How do you help your child ease into being comfortable with the pool?
- Never force them into going into the pool. They already associate the water as being fearful and forcing or carrying them into the water will only strengthen that fear.
- When you're in the pool holding your child, let them get comfortable. One activity to introduce to them is blowing bubbles. Just put your lips to the surface of the water and blow bubbles. Encourage your child to try it, but if they are really against it, don't push them.
- Use toys! Have your child throw a pool toy, and while you're holding them, swim over and retrieve it. If they enjoy this activity, keep doing it! The more your child associates fun with the pool, the more they will want to swim again!
- Take a parent-child swim class. Instructor-guided lessons in a safe environment with their parents could make a child feel comfortable.