Back floating has receive a lot of attention is recent years, with some suggesting that teaching it will drown proof babies. World Wide Swim School must stress that no child or adult is drown proof. Children are only safe in or around water when they are under strict supervision by an adult. Preschool children are safest at arm’s length when around water.
Drowning prevention requires a number of barriers to protect children. These include pool fencing, well maintained fences, supervision and resuscitation. Visit www.kidsalive.com.au for water safety information. Some of the back floating fads are the methods which babies learn, and are of particular concern. World Wide Swim School is critical of any swimming method in which children are on their back in an aggressive and forceful way, while they cry and are under visible distress. Baby swimming should be a pleasurable experience for both parent and child. World Wide Swim School considers back floating to be a skill that should receive encouragement but not be forceful.
Physical development has a huge bearing on whether children will voluntarily participate in back floating activities. Generally, once infants learn to sit up they no longer enjoy back floating. The innovative teacher will find fun ways to encourage children to voluntarily back float in the swimming lesson without aggression. Parents and teachers should encourage back floating only if baby is happy and never aggressively force this swimming skill upon them while they are crying or distressed.
By Laurie Lawrence
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