It’s that time of year again…summer:) YAY!!! Summer is so fun: pool, lake, ocean, water park. This, is Texas ladies. And if you are going to survive the Texas summer heat you must be in the water. But we’ve got to protect our little ones and our big ones for that matter. My biggest concerns are water safety, sunscreen and hydration. I am no expert, but here is my advice.
- Water Safety: I have been a Water Safety Instructor (swim teacher) for 11 years. Whether you are in the pool, lake, ocean or water park, you should always make sure you and your child know your surroundings. I always teach my students to first explore the body of water. Entrance and Exit areas. Levels where you can and cannot touch. Temperature level. Who is there. Where is the adult located. These are important things to consider.
- Sunscreen: PLEASE put sunscreen on you and your child. YES, you can get a gorgeous tan while wearing sunscreen. I apply sunscreen to myself and my kids about 20 minutes before we get into the water. We use the rub on sunscreen. We make sure our face and ears are covered and wear good chap stick with sunscreen in it. Then I reapply with spray sunscreen every hour. If we break for lunch or snack we dry off and reapply the rub on sunscreen. Works for me and we all come out beautifully sun kissed, but not burned:)
- Hydration: It is so easy to get dehydrated when you are surrounded by water. Have your kiddos drink a bottle of water before swimming and then drink when you get out of the water on the hour you reapply the sunscreen. It’s not a bad idea to have a rehydration type drink available at one of those times as well! If your kids are like mine, you probably do not have to remind them to eat snacks. Swimming makes this Momma and her kiddos hungry!
Teaching your child to swim: My best piece of advice is exposure. The more your kids are in and around the water the better they will be at swimming. The more they are around it, the more daring they will be. However, you as the Momma, have to let them be daring. Let your little one jump in the water and go under. It is ok! They have to learn that going underwater is a good thing. If they go under and come up coughing pat them on the back as you cheer for them. They are looking to you for clues as to whether or not what they are doing is ok. And It is! Smile and cheer for them and they will learn it is ok to go under and it is ok to take risks. When the kids are in the tub at night, this is a great time to practice blowing bubbles and going under water. I absolutely LOVE teaching kids (and Adults) to swim! I think if you live in Texas, being able to swim, is a life skill. We look for a body of water to cool off in about 9 months out of the year!