Thursday, June 30, 2016

Water Safety 101

Any person with a tiny human under the age of 5 knows how curious and busy they can be. Since as early as Raj could move, there were two things I realized really quick: 1. he was extra curious and 2. he loved water. Whether it was a fountain in a courtyard, sprinklers shooting up at the park, or a swimming pool or ocean, he had a natural interest and need to run straight to it. This curiosity (his nickname has quickly become 'Curious Raji') had me realizing very early on that swim lessons would be at the top of our priority list, and as soon as he was old enough to be enrolled, we started them. We have been taking swim class two days a week at Aloha Swim since January, and it is with the upmost amount of confidence that I can say that it has paid off such a great deal. Raj has always been incredibly confident in the water since his first bath, so it was no surprise to me how much he loves going to swim class. Almost 6 months in, and at 20 months old, his confidence and skill in the water not only makes me proud, but brings such a huge wave of relief when he is in and around water. By no means is he ready and able to dive in and swim 20 laps on his own, but its safe to say we aren't too far from that dream #nextmichaelphelps (totally jk.. kind of). In all truths, we aren't 100% able to leave him solo around water quiet yet, but here is what we have accomplished:

- his ability to hold his breath for a long period of time under water
- calmness during a back float 
- the ability to shoot from the bottom of the pool straight up to the top
- lifting face first to bring his nose out of water
- pulling himself along the wall of the pool to the steps 
- kicking his legs straight under his body to stand when he can reach the bottom
- proper leg, foot, and hand motions when swimming

This is by no means a brag post, but rather an informative note that it doesn't matter how little your babe is, they can properly and confidently learn how to swim and can learn techniques that can save their life. 

Since this is a topic that gets brought up so often, and with it being summer and water seeming to be the center of almost every activity over the next few months, I thought it was important to share some safety tips for families to help keep their little ones safe. I get so many fun/surprised reactions from family and friends who find out how long Raj has been in swim class that I guess it isn't as common of an idea to have babies take swim class as I thought. But the one thing that is common in everyone I talk to? Their level of stress around water with their little ones. 

Here are some suggestions and tips for keeping your tiny ones safe this summer:

1. Invest in great floaties for while you are at the pool, beach, and river.
Here are a few of my favorites that we have used as well as some of the top rated float devices on Amazon:
1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5

2. If you own a pool, install a gate or pool cover and alarm to keep your little ones out and away from being able to fall in. 
I found these great gate and pool alarms (like herehere, and here).

3. Enroll in swim class. 
We were referred to our swim school (Aloha Swim School) by my friend Bri and my friend Heidi, so if you are in the South OC area, definitely check them out; but there are swim schools located in pretty much every area. My suggestion is to ask your child's day care provider because chances are they have other students who take swim classes, ask friends and family who have or have had little ones, and/or look on yelp (the reviews are usually helpful). 

4. Educate yourself.
The fact that you are taking the time to read this post is a big first step. I found this website, Pool Safely, which has more awesome tips, tutorials, and materials that will help you learn how to prevent accidents from occurring. 

5. Learn how to perform CPR.
CPR and first aid training not only comes in handy for choking, but any accident or occurrence where breathing has been compromised. I promise you guys, when all else fails, knowing and being trained on how to administer CRP will save your child's life. You can check out the American Heart Association for more information on taking and enrolling in a class. As a former preschool teacher I can not express enough the importance of this, for all matters of safety!

I hope you have found this post helpful, and if nothing else, I hope it has inspired you to do what it takes to keep your family safe this summer. With Raj's fearless spirit and love for water, enrolling him in swim class is what has been best for our family, but do remember that every family and kid is different, so do what will help and work best for your kids!! In the end, summer is meant to be made up of great memories and endless fun and laughs, and no matter how you accomplish that, you are moving every step in the right direction! 

Raj's awesome swimsuit, c/o Elly la Fripouille
which is not only super adorable, but also UPF50+!!

With love,