We talk about each fundamental skill like it’s the most important. Kids need to know how to swim! Kids need to know how to ride a bike! Here’s one that I’ll bet didn’t come to mind quickly. Kids need to be able to get out of a pool WITHOUT the use of stairs or a ladder.
It makes sense though, right?
If a kid’s struggling in the water and steps or a ladder are nearby, it’s much easier to get out.
But, the fundamental skill that we’re talking about, besides swimming, is the ability of a child to get themselves out of a pool. Why? Because it’s not the same as getting out by using a ladder.
To get out of a pool, kids must be able to use their feet to climb the pool wall while using their arms to help pull their body out. Often you will find that kids lack the upper body strength to do this, so it’s important to always watch your children when they’re swimming. Because even though they can swim, sometimes when they’re tired they aren’t able to help themselves. The additional risk is because of their size, their body temperature can quickly change due to water conditions.
Here’s what we learned from Northeast Ohio Family Fun’s article with tips from the Goldfish Swim School:
Elbow, Elbow, Tummy, Knee! Help your little ones learn how to get out of the pool by manipulating their bodies in this order: elbow, elbow, tummy, knee. Practice this often! You can even do this on your living room floor by having your baby climb onto a couch or chair! After you practice, always remember to celebrate.
In other words, similar to tummy time, upper body strength and movement needs to be developed so kids can help get themselves out of a pool. The article mentions that your baby can get stronger by practicing hoisting themselves onto a couch or chair.
Hey parents, can you pull yourself out of the pool? I’ll bet you haven’t tried in years. But, you know what? You should practice this too. Next time you’re in the pool, try pulling yourself out of the deep end without the use of an exit device. It’s not that easy…