02 Feb How to build WATER AWARENESS, FAMILIARITY AND CONFIDENCE for children
BUILDING FAMILIARITY AND CONFIDENCE
Keep Watch Actions – Water Awareness Water awareness combines a range of strategies and activities designed to keep your child safe when in, on, or around water. These include water familiarisation, checking for and removing water hazards, setting rules around water and discussing water safety with your child.
Q. What is water familiarisation?
A. Water familiarisation provides an opportunity to get your child involved in the development of aquatic skills and water confidence while developing social, emotional, mental and physical skills in a safe environment.
Q. What is involved in a water familiarisation class?
A. Generally, water familiarisation classes will involve a small number of parents/carers with their child participating with an instructor who facilitates learning through fun, games, songs and activities.
Q. Why is water familiarisation important?
A. Involving your child in water familiarisation from 8 months of age can be fun and rewarding for both parent and child. It provides the opportunity for your child to become comfortable in an aquatic environment and provide the basis for future skills as they progress to learn to swim.
Q. How can I get involved in water familiarisation?
A. Visit your local pool and speak to the staff about the infant aquatics programs they have on offer or contact your local Royal Life Saving
Q. Why should my child undertake water familiarisation?
A. Swimpro Life Saving offers water familiarisation courses called infant aquatics. Undertaking an infant aquatics course is a great opportunity to learn some skills and bond with your child.
The most important thing about undertaking water familiarisation classes is that you and your child feel safe and secure.
Swimpro Life Saving recommends that children undertake water familiarisation classes. These classes can commence from 8 months of age. From age 5 years onwards children can start swimming and water safety lessons. These classes are held at many local pools and encourage confidence and water awareness, as well as respect for the water. Water familiarisation classes do not “drown proof” your child and as such are not a substitution for adult supervision.
By enrolling your child in a water familiarisation class you will help indulge their natural curiosity about water, and provide them with skills which will be the building blocks for future aquatic activity. Water familiarisation is one of the four key messages of Swimpro Life Saving’s Keep Watch toddler drowning prevention program. The other key messages are: Supervision, Fence Your Pool and Learn Resuscitation.
But you can also use bath time as a time for water awareness. Let your baby or child feel, experience and play with water. Put rules in place for when they go near water and ensure parents and adults uphold these rules themselves to set a good example. When visiting new aquatic locations you can examine these together with your child and discuss any safety issues and rules for that location with your child.