by Nola Family Staff

Take the Plunge - Is Your Child Ready for Swimming at Camp?

1. Overnight and Day Camps
Camps almost always require campers to pass a swim test in order to participate in water activities. Parents often assume their child is a better swimmer than they really are, and then both child and parent are surprised and disappointed to discover they will be restricted from certain camp activities or pool areas. Don't assume what your child can do. Instead, find out your child's true swimming skill level before camp begins. When your child takes lessons with qualified instructors, they'll evaluate your child's current capabilities, as well as what they need to work on in order to pass those swim tests. Pro tip: Check with your camp early about their swim skill requirements.
2. House Pools, But Your Rules
Make all pool rules consistent, and talk to your child about them. Good instructors always incorporate safety rules into lessons (and teach the parents about pool safety as well), but it's up to parents to reinforce them beyond the swim school. Make sure your child follows your safety rules at friends' pools, as well.
3. Community Pools and Bodies of Water
Taking swim lessons before swim season increases children's confidence (and yours as well). We all want swimming to be fun and safe! With all the new experiences they'll have at camp and public pools such as NORD, swim lessons are invaluable in making the water portion of their summer experience the best ever.
4. Emergency Training
Talk to your child about an action plan in case of a swimming emergency. If they fall in the water, they should know to swim to the side of the pool if possible. If their friend falls into the water, they should know to find a life preserver to throw or a long noodle to reach them after calling an adult for help - "reach or throw, don't go!" Although discussing possible emergencies with your child is no bag of laughs, it will make them better prepared for the unexpected.
5. Accidents DON'T HAVE to Happen
Simply put, swim accidents are preventable with adult supervision and swim lessons. Yes, your child must know how to swim. And although you might think that because your child knows how to swim, she's good to go, kids still need to be well-supervised while swimming or around pools (or even floating down the lazy river at Audubon Zoo). Pro tip: For at-home swim parties, hire a lifeguard. That way, adults can relax and enjoy and know everyone is safe!
Tips provided by the experts at 5221 S. Front Street • 504-891-4662 • [email protected]

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