5 Baby Water Safety Tips Every New Parent Should Know

5 Baby Water Safety Tips Every New Parent Should Know | Kathleen McMordie Infant Aquatics | Texas Swim Academy KatyNew parents have a lot on their plates, including responsibilities they are just learning and of course some good ol’ fashioned sleep deprivation. In those first few wonderful, frantic months of parenthood it’s easy for some basics – like baby water safety – to slip through the cracks. Here are five water safety tips that new parents should keep in mind in a variety of circumstances, from bath time to baby swim classes.

  1. Never leave your baby unattended in the water. Sounds like common sense and it is but it’s surprisingly easy to get distracted when you’re a new parent, and all it takes is a second for an accident to happen. Maintain constant supervision of your child in any water environment, no matter how shallow the water.
  2. Take an infant-child CPR course. Ideally, do this prior to your baby’s birth so you’re ready to go right out of the gate. In the event of an accident, knowing CPR gives you precious minutes to care for your child while emergency help arrives.
  3. Floatation devices are no substitute for supervision. Floatation devices and inflatable toys can create a false sense of security. These devices can quickly shift position, deflate or come loose and create a drowning hazard. Do not use them as a substitute for supervision.
  4. Enroll your baby in an early swim-water survival course. If your baby can swim or at least demonstrate basic water survival skills, he or she will be much safer in or near the water. There’s no foolproof method to prevent drowning accidents, but baby learning programs for early swim can greatly reduce water danger.
  5. Practice sun safety for kids. Water play often occurs outdoors and sun safety is an important part of water safety for babies. Use a sunscreen, appropriate clothing and a large hat to protect your baby from the sun. Also make sure they stay hydrated in hot weather.

These tips are not all there is to say on the topic of water safety for babies, but keep them in mind and you will have a head start in protecting your child from drowning and common water hazards.

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When Can a Baby Learn to Swim?

It’s a question that a lot of parents ask and it’s one that you can imagine I like to talk about. I am a big supporter of getting infants and toddlers into the water early, for several reasons:

  • Accelerated social, physical and learning development
  • Stronger parent-child bond
  • Reduction of drowning danger

When Can a Baby Learn to Swim | Kathleen McMordie Infant Aquatics Katy TexasThese benefits are all supported by recent scientific studies. But most parents have safety in mind and want to know how early is too early?

Six months old is a good benchmark to consider getting your baby in the water: at that age most babies have developed the head control necessary to perform basic infant water survival exercises, including roll-to-back-float. Six months is also a time when babies become more mobile outside the water – for homes with pools, this means they can accidentally find their way into the water and get into trouble.

You would be amazed at what a 6-9 month old baby can accomplish in the water! They can hold their breath underwater, intuitively roll-to-back-float, open their eyes underwater to explore, and more. They develop a comfort in the water that serves them throughout their childhood and into their adult lives. It is also incredibly rewarding to see the fun that parents can have getting involved with their infants in the water, developing such a wonderful bond and creating memories that last forever.

When Can a Baby Learn to Swim | Kathleen McMordie Infant Aquatics Expert Katy TexasToddlers at 12-24 months can do even more and this is a perfect time in their development to learn actual swim skills that can save their lives. 1- and 2-year-olds are fully capable of entering and exiting the water on their own, swimming underwater unassisted, and back-floating for extended periods. It also becomes easier to see the skills they will use outside of the water: comfort and curiosity with other children, ability to follow directions, and physical strength and confidence.

Don’t wait for some arbitrary age, your baby can swim a lot sooner than you think – it’s good for them and it’s good for you!

Kathleen McMordie is an Infant Aquatic Survival Lead Instructor and water safety specialist located in Katy, Texas. Show owns a full-service aquatic facility, called Texas Swim Academy. Through a variety of programs, Kathleen and her staff of instructors at Texas Swim Academy strive to introduce children to water at an early age through INFANT AQUATICS, and to fully develop their swim stroke abilities through adulthood through STROKE DEVELOPMENT.

Water Safety Video Tip: Introducing Infants to the Water

Have you ever wondered when you can bring your baby into the water?

When working with a certified Infant Aquatic Survival instructor, a baby can be introduced to the water at as young as 6 months old. As a water safety expert and Infant Aquatics Lead Instructor, I encourage enrolling your baby in a swim skills class at an early age. In these classes, infant can learn to float, hold his breath under water, and even propel himself a short distance through the water.

Learn more about introducing your infant to the water by watching this short water safety video tip:



Keep up to date with the latest in water safety by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube! Have questions, feel free to contact me for more info on infant aquatics, local swim programs, and other water safety topics.

What to Look for in an Infant Aquatics Class

While all infant aquatics classes can be beneficial to your child, there are some things you should look for when considering a new class. A negative experience with water early on in your child’s life can form impressions that will last a lifetime. If your instructor is not experienced, your child could be at risk both physically and psychologically.

Kathleen McMordie Texas Swim Academy Infant Aquatics Katy

Qualified Instruction

Anyone can claim to be an instructor of infant aquatics, but the true professionals will be certified. An instructor that has a health background and professional qualifications is far preferable over someone who teaches a class in their spare time. Those with medical backgrounds are even better because they can intervene if an emergency occurs.

Small Class Sizes

Infants can be very unpredictable, and water can be dangerous. You should be wary of any aquatics classes that have too many infants. Not only could your infant be at risk, but there’s also no guarantee that your child will be given the individual attention he or she needs to flourish.

The Right Environment

Children have less developed immune systems than adults. A pool that will be used for infant instruction should be kept to very high standards. Additionally, the pool should always be between 82 to 92 degrees. While this may seem warm, it’s vital that the temperature be kept in this range. Young infants cannot yet control their body’s internal temperature the way adults can. A warm temperature also relaxes infants and helps them learn.

As with all things, you should pay attention to your gut. If, at any time, you feel that your child’s infant aquatics class is not being handled properly you should consider enrolling them in a different class. Children are extremely impressionable, and it can be surprising what they will retain.

Texas Swim Academy Katy Texas Infant Aquatics

Kathleen McMordie is an Infant Aquatic Survival Master Instructor and water safety specialist located in Katy, Texas. Show owns a full-service aquatic facility, called Texas Swim Academy. Through a variety of programs, Kathleen and her staff of instructors at Texas Swim Academy strive to introduce children to water at an early age through INFANT AQUATICS, and to fully develop their swim stroke abilities through adulthood through STROKE DEVELOPMENT.

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