The fear of going under water is generally formed from a past experience. It may be the sensation, or that they have been forcibly submerged, or had water up their nose… It may even be that they have seen someone else react badly after going under water. These are some of the more common reason why children have trouble putting their face in the water. Unfortunately it is very hard for young children to express the reason why they are having trouble putting their face into water.
For most their first experience of swimming in a large body of water can be overwhelming. We recommend that you read the ‘My first swimming lesson‘ pages to help make your child as comfortable as possible. Before your child is introduced to the underwater world they should be given the opportunity to become familiar with how water feels on the rest of their body. Once they are comfortable with the feeling of water on their body you can then introduce water to the face.
School of Little Swimmers Director, Alice recommends using the concept of play to introduce water to the face! Sometimes this is often overlooked, however, children learn though play!
Playing with water is something that can be done at home in a bath tub. Alice recommends starting with play in shallow water using toys potentially goggles.
Somethings you can do as a parent to help your child gain confidence in the water are:
- Firstly invest in goggles is a great way to show them the magic of the underwater world! Practicing wearing them in the bath is a great way to prepare for your child’s first lesson. It will help them to gain confidence and be more comfortable in the water. We recommend the Aqua Sphere range of goggles which are available for purchase at our reception.
- Allow your child to play with their dolls in the bath. Children can play teacher and show their dolls how to swim, you can also use the doll to demonstrate to your child how the doll can float in the water or swim under the water.
- watering cans and cups are fantastic for desensitising the sensation of water being on your child’s head. Start at their toes and slowly work your way up. Knees, bellies, neck, ears, cheeks, even their nose. You will be surprised how close you can get to watering over the face with these baby steps.
- Sinking toys – sinking toys give your child the opportunity to explore under the water. Start in a shallow bath and gradually increase the depth.
- Help your child learn breath control. Download our FREE guide “progressive steps to teaching your child to go underwater and breath control”
A big NO NO!