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ASK THE EXPERT: How Should I Prepare My Child For His First Swimming Lesson?

Singapore's tropical weather means year-round opportunities to get outdoorsy.

Going swimming? Ease your child into the water with these tips from Australian International School's (AIS) Head of Aquatics, John Woolford.


How can I prepare my son for his first swimming lesson?

John's top tip: Start as early as you can! It’s possible to do so at home even prior to going to the pool.

Pour water gently over your child’s face from the back of their head to develop their natural reflex to shut their eyes and mouth when you bathe them. This ensures that your child is comfortable with water when they have their first submersion in the pool.

At AIS, swimming lessons are offered for kids at least two and a half years old, but the pool at the Early Learning Village also has a shallow section for waders at least three months old. Benches have been installed in both sides of the pool to allow children to sit and rest when receiving instruction.

Kids will develop water confidence and maneuverability in the water, and as they progress, will also be able to gain strength and stamina.

What are the steps taken if the child has a fear of water?

Going for regular swims will help to make swimming a habit and will gradually help children to overcome their fear of the water.

Parents and teachers are encouraged to be a positive and confident role model in the water – it is advisable not to act anxious in the water as you will pass this on to the child. AIS offers a progressive programme, where children go from being in the water with parents to with a teacher, as they learn to swim in increasing depths and on their own. 


From The Finder (Issue 285), August 2017

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