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Help your kids to love swimming!

Help Your Kids Learn to Love Swimming!

Thinking about introducing your child to the fun of water play? Before hitting the pool or the beach, be sure to read our tips for helping your child feel comfortable.

Get In the Swim!

Ready for some water fun? Read on for step-by-step plan for helping babies, toddlers, and preschoolers learn to love swimming, plus expert advice on the right time for starting classes and how to pick the perfect program.

Step One: Test the Waters

The best way to get your child familiar with the water is to start in the bathtub or kiddie pool once he can confidently sit up on his own (typically around 6 months). “Having this experience in a calm, happy place will help your child stay relaxed in the more chaotic environment of a public pool or beach,” explains Connie Harvey, project manager for aquatics technical development at the American Red Cross. To help your baby grow comfortable with getting his face wet, gently squeeze a sponge or a washcloth over his head, letting the (soap-free) water trickle down his forehead and into his eyes.

More Ways to Make It Fun

Turn the tub into a playground: Bring in his favorite playthings like floating toys, watering cans, and plastic balls. Having the stuff he loves around him will make the water a welcoming place for your child.

Play peekaboo: Submerge your face in the water, then come up with a bright smile. Children are natural mimics; if you show that it’s fun to get your face wet, your little one will be more willing to try it later on.

Blow on it: Put your lips to the water and make some bubbles. If your child is up for it, you can then have him copy your moves with his mouth and nose submerged too.

Step Two: Get Your Feet Wet

The pool can be overwhelming for little kids. “To make that first dip less scary, take your toddler to a family-swim period so she can observe the action without pressure to join in,” suggests Kay Smiley, who oversees swim-program development for the YMCA of the USA. On your next trip, sit together on the side of the pool, letting her feet dangle in the water. Then go into the shallow end together, holding your child with one hand underneath her bottom, and the other one around her back. Ease in gradually, and act relaxed. Once she’s comfortable, get her used to moving through the water by front towing: Hold her under her arms, facing you, allowing the water to support her weight as you walk slowly backward, chatting with her the whole time.

More Ways to Make It Fun

Go for a ride: Hold your child by the armpits as you walk backwards through the water, chanting, “Motorboat, motorboat, go so slow.” Pick up the pace, then say, “Motorboat, motorboat, go so fast. Motorboat, motorboat, step on the gas.” In time, encourage her to kick.

Walk it off: Get her used to being in the water without you supporting her completely by holding her bottom as she grasps the ledge of the pool and walks hand over hand along the side (to make it more fun, call it “monkey walking” and have her make silly monkey sounds).

Make a wish: Work on bubble-blowing and breath-control skills by pretending your finger is a birthday candle. Have your child blow on it, gradually moving your finger closer to the water until she makes a few bubbles.

Step Three: Start Splashing!

Around age 3 or 4, when your child feels at home in the pool, you can begin to prepare him for formal lessons. First, practice floating: With your child’s stomach in the water, position yourself so you’re cheek to cheek, then have him extend his legs behind him and take a “nap” on the water with his head resting on your shoulder (the “pillow”). Have him do the same thing on his back once he’s ready. You can also have him latch on to your neck, using your arms to straighten his legs out behind him and help him kick.

More Ways to Make It Fun

Sound off: Encourage him to put his face in the water if he hasn’t already; the first time he tries it, have him close his mouth and hum to prevent water from going up his nose.

Talk to the fishies: Prime your little one for learning the rhythmic breathing that goes with strokes: Prompt him to blow a few bubbles by suggesting that he put his face in the water and ask an imaginary fish a question. Then have him turn to the left or the right, keeping his ear in the water so he can listen to what the fish has to say. Keep up the pattern of bubble blowing and then side breathing by feeding him questions for the fish, such as, “What do fish like to eat?”

Sneak in some practice: Play a few rounds of “Simon Says” in the shallow end, and instruct your little one to kick and blow bubbles — in addition to goofier commands for splashing (just a little) and shaking his hands while tapping his feet.

Download the guide here: Pool Shop: Help Your Children Love Swimming

 

Originally published in the June 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

http://www.parents.com/baby/safety/outdoor/help-your-kids-learn-to-love-swimming/

Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is a healthy, low-cost activity that you can continue throughout your life. Swimming is a low-impact activity that has many physical and mental health benefits. Swimming is a great workout because you need to move your whole body against the resistance of the water.

The attached pdf document outlines some of the benefits of swimming and has been been reproduced from the Victorian Governments Better Health Channel.
View the PDF here: Pool Shop Swimming

Reference: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Did you know? Fun facts and benefits of swimming.

Here are some fun facts and benefits of swimming that are not only interesting, but also informative! We hope you have a safe swim and enjoy your pool!

Did you know?

  • Kangaroos can swim but when they do, shutterstock_184627958their legs move independently from one another which is very different than how they move on land.
  • Elephants can swim as many as 20 miles a day — they use their trunks as natural snorkels!
  • Porcupines can float.
  • The bikini swimsuit was named after a nuclear testing site in the South Pacific called Bikini Atoll. The slowest Olympic swim stroke is the breaststroke.
  • The fastest and most efficient swim stroke is the freestyle.
  • The oldest form of stroke used is the breaststroke.
  • In butterfly stroke and breaststroke, swimmers need to touch the pool with both hands simultaneously when they finish. Swimmers touch the pool with only one hand when they finish in freestyle and backstroke swimming events.
  • Swim fins were invented by Benjamin Franklin
  • The Titanic was the first ocean liner to have a swimming pool and a gym.
  • The oldest depiction of swimming was found in Egypt and dates back to 2500 B.C.E.

 Benefits of Swimming

  • Swimming strengthens the heart and lungs.
  • Swimming works out all of the body’s major muscles without straining your joints.
  • Swimming helps reduce stress
  • Osteoarthritis: If your joints hurt and your muscles are stiff, swimming is perfect to lower the pain; in the pool your body weight decreases, and reduces the pressure over your muscles and joints
  • Water’s buoyancy make swimming the ideal exercise for physical therapy and rehabilitation or for anyone seeking a low-impact exercise.
  • Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise because you are moving against the water’s resistance, which is over ten times that of the air.
  • An hour of vigorous swimming will burn up to 650 calories. It burns off more calories than walking or biking.

Source: http://www.swimmingpool.com/games-safety/pool-fun/fun-facts

 

Irritated Eyes primarily caused by Chlorine?

Irritated eyes

We’ve seen it happen quite often:

- Children coming out of the pool rubbing their eyes

- Parents claiming that it’s definitely because of an excess of chlorine in the pool.

- Consequently, the poor child is not allowed to go into the pool for the rest of the day

 

This belief that there is an excess of chlorine in the pool is in fact myth! In fact, it’s due to a couple of factors:

First, it is the fact that water in general, regardless of being chlorinated or not, will cause dryness in our eyes and thus cause irritation.

Second, it’s the pH level of our pools. When the pH levels of our pools stray too far from the body’s natural pH balance of 7.4-7.6, it can cause irritation.

Finally, it is the presence of chloramines in the pool that can cause irritation. Chloramines form when chlorine combines with what comes out of or washes off the swimmers’ body (sweat, urine, personal care products etc.).

The truth is that chlorine reacts with sweat, body oils and cosmetics to form products that are irritating and make things worse for the swimmer, forming chloramines.

It is then advised for the benefit of our own pools and those who use it, here are hygiene tips:

- Shower before getting into the pool. Each unshowered swimmer adds their dirt, body oil and sweat to the pool!

- Remember to take the kids out for bathroom breaks often so the pool is kept free from any unwanted accidents that chlorine cannot deal with

- Make sure there is the right amount of chlorine in the pool as it in fact is your first line of defence that can make swimmers sick. It guards against bacteria and viruses that can cause conjunctivitis, stomach upset, swimmer’s ear and irritated skin. If you’re unsure of your pH and chlorine levels in your pool, you can order 6 in 1 test strips or drop in with your water to our store for a free test.

Source: http://www.gachd.org/hot-topic/its_not_chlorine_in_the_pool_t.php

 

Swimming with your baby in the pool

Swimming with your baby in the poolswimming baby

Did you know that a baby can go swimming only a few days after they are born? If you would like your baby to be a good swimmer, it may be a great idea to get them to start swimming lessons early. But if mum wants to swim together with the baby, remember that it is important to wait six weeks after birth for health reasons. So if you want to swim together with your little one here are a few tips to take care of:

 

Tip 1 –Pool temperature

You have to make sure that the water is warm enough. A good temperature for the baby is around 32 degrees Celsius, so check the temperature first before you get in the water. We can also check and test that for you if you need. If the water is warm enough it is important to keep the water up to the shoulders of the baby so that they will be kept warm. Babies lose heat quicker than adults do, so if he starts to shiver get him out the pool and wrap him in a towel to keep him warm!

Tip 2 –Sessions in the water

You baby is not used to being in the water so start with a swimming session of 10 minutes and not any longer than that. After they’ve been in the water a few times you can build up the sessions up to 20 minutes. The maximum time for swimming session for a baby should be no longer than 30 minutes.

Tip 3 –Rinse pool water off

Make sure that you wash the chlorine water off the baby after swimming. It is very important to wash it off every time so that your baby doesn’t get irritated by it. If your baby does have skin problems after swimming, please check with your GP as soon as possible. To prevent this as much as you can, it is important to test the water every time before you go in the water or at least once a week. We can help you with this by conducting a FREE water test for you from our Liverpool pool shop. If you are not sure, we can always help you with that, with our mobile service.

Tip 4 –Dinner time

Just like adults, it is not a good idea to go swimming right after eating. Your stomach will still be processing your food and it can cause cramps. This rule applies for your baby also, which is why you should take at least 30 minutes between their milk and their swimming time. If your baby already eats solid food, remember to take an hour between eating and swimming.

And of course the most important tip is: ENJOY the swim! It is fun and good for both of you. Play with your little one and let them love the water. If you ever have questions about the conditions of your pool don’t hesitate to contact us or stop by our shop we are happy to help you with all of your questions.

 

Top tips for a top party!

Pool partyBecause Summer is almost here we thought it’s the perfect time to for pool a pool party! Planning to invite a few friends over for a relaxed poolside get together or is having the music blasting and cocktails flowing more your type of party? Whatever your perfect kind of party is, here are a few general tips to help you organise an awesome Summer Fun Pool Party!

Tip 1 Invites!
Besides having a pool of course, the most important element of as party is having people there to celebrate with you! Call up your friends or create themed invitations and start building that guest list.

Tip 2 Good music
The best music for your party depends on the theme & which people you invite, but music is always a great idea at any party. Beach or tropical tunes are a great way to give the party a real ‘Summer feel.

Tip 3 Food and drinks
A good supply of cold drinks are always recommended, especially in the Summer when it is very hot. Put at least 2 big jars with ice cold water, maybe with some lemon, on the table so nobody will be thirsty. A barbeque is always a good idea for a pool party and how about some tropical cocktails!?

Tip 4 Necessities
It is a Summer pool party after all so the sun will be shining and it’s easy to get burnt in the water; so always have enough sunscreen available for your party guests. Also make sure to create some areas of shade so that people can stand out of the sun when it gets too hot or they have gotten sunburnt. Always fun is to have some pool toys in the water, like beach balls or water guns.

Tip 5 Accessories
To really get that Summer mood dress your garden up like if you are in the trops. Get sunshades, umbrella straws, beach balls, fake palm trees and anything more you want to add. Keep everything in the summer theme even the food and drinks. This will make the party even more fun and let you really enjoy the summer.

The only to rest now is to plan your own pool party! Good luck! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for more fun and informative posts you might like!’

#tip! How about adding a cool dye to your pool water? This Pool Party dye will create a beautiful cool sparkly blue colour! Stocking in store.

pool party

6 Tips for Getting your Pool Ready for Summer

Lets have a great summer - Summer vacation retro type design and

Summer is coming soon and the weather is already beautiful at the moment! You’ve hidden away your winter clothes and gathered your shorts, swimming trunks and thongs YOU are ready! But is your pool?
Here are a few tips to help you get your pool Summer ready:

Tip 1
There may be leaves and dirt on the floor of your pool, so use a pool vacuum or automatic cleaner to get the leaves and other dirt out of the pool. Also make sure to empty your pool cleaner every once in a while so it doesn’t get full or clogged. Then top up the water level.

Tip 2
Clean out all the basket and filter systems of your pool. There are normally 2 baskets that need to be cleaned out: skimmer & pump. All leaves that have been skimmed from the top of the water as well as those picked up by automatic cleaner or pool vacuums will be in this skimmer basket. You can leave the cover or pool blanket on the pool when you are doing this, but most important is that don’t empty the pool; leave all the water in. When you are finished cleaning the basket you can turn on the filter, but make sure to check again if it really is clean before you turn it on.

Tip 3
After running the filter for at least 12 hours, test your water, we recommend a professional test so that you know for sure the water is good. We provide FREE water testing at Liverpool pool shop. After the test you will have to balance the chemicals so that your pool is perfectly balanced again. If you are not sure which or how much chemicals you have to use, just stop by our shop or give us a call and we will help you!

Tip 4
Shock treat the water, this will neutralize contaminants and will help raise the available chlorine levels in your pool to make sure the water is nice and clear!

Tip 5
Treat your pool with an algaecide, by doing this early in the season and regularly throughout you will prevent algae from entering your pool.

Tip 6
Keep your pool clean all Summer long, especially if it’s used quite regularly. Therefore, test the water and clean the filters regularly. If you don’t have the time to clean it every week, why not consider our mobile services? We come by your house to check and maintain your pool!
Check out our website for more information about the services we offer and the products we sell. If you have any questions about the chemicals or anything else pool or spa related don’t hesitate to contact us or stop by our shop. We are happy to help you with all of your questions.

Eight tips to have a more eco-friendly pool and pool area!

Eco friendly poolThe fact of having a pool itself can be perceived as not environmentally friendly. But the thing is, you can implement little changes that will minimise the environmental impact of your pool. Here is how:

1. We first recommend you use a pool cover in order to limit evaporation and keep your water quite warm, meaning you don’t have to use the heater as much. An additional advantage of this first tip is that it will reduce your energy bills!

2. Another technique to prevent water evaporation is to install a windbreak around your pool. Most pool owners install a fence around their pools for security reasons, so why not make the most of them and add panels to the fence to prevent the wind from causing excessive evaporation?!

3. Make sure you use an energy efficient pump to keep the running time as its lowest level: no waste of energy! You can use a timer to do most of the pump work in the evenings when you get rate breaks.

4. Choose the right filter according to your pool – you may choose a cartridge one – and do not over use it.

5. Do not waste rainwater but set-up an easy system to collect the rainwater and drive it to your pool to top it up. Do not forget to test and add the right amount of chemicals when adding some water though. You want to be eco-friendly but you do not want to pass on crystal clear water.

6. Just like you, we love having our pool lights on but don’t forget to switch them off when you’re not in the pool anymore. We usually forget this, but it can save you and the planet a lot. You can even consider a timer that will automatically turn off the lights each night at a set time.

7. Solar heating is an obvious environmentally friendly choice over conventional heaters. The initial investment is higher but solar heating is a more cost effective option in the long term as it uses less electricity.

8. And finally, be regular about pool maintenance to make sure the basics such as cleaning the pump or the filter are taken care off. This way, your pool system will have to work less and you won’t waste any energy.

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Time to switch your pool back on for Spring!

Spring Cleaning Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds,Spring is in the air! But before you can enjoy your very first swim of the season, you may want to go through our list of ‘check’ to make sure your pool is ready to welcome you and your family. ‘Switching on’ your pool after winter is not just about uncovering your pool, but also going through a significant number of cleaning check-ups! So once your pool is uncovered make sure you go through all the following steps:

tick

Step 1 – Spring Cleaning!

It’s time to clean everything! From the pump, to the filter, the scale, the walls of your pool, and everything around it. Make sure you do not forget any parts as you want your pool to start fresh for the new season. You can turn your spring cleaning into a fun family afternoon, dividing the tasks between family members. The more the merrier!

tickStep 2 – More water, more chemicals!

Once everything is super clean, it is time to either add water if you emptied your pool for winter, or remove some water if you didn’t empty the pool and the water level is too high due to the amount of rain during winter. Once you’re satisfied with the water level, it’s time to test your water. You can have a look at the correct chemicals level you are supposed to have right here as well as our advice to have the correct levels.

tickStep 3 – Test, Test and re-test

Once you have the correct level of water and chemicals in your pool, do not forget to regularly test them. Some significant variations may occur while getting your pool back on track after a long winter. We recommend testing your water at least twice a week for a month. Be very mindful of the pH and chlorine levels.

tickStep 4 – How many supplies do you have left?

Time to re-organize your storage area, make an inventory list and check the expiration dates of all the chemicals you have! Make your storage area a well-organized place where it is easy to find the right product, throw away expired products and buy the right amount of chemicals to last for the coming months.

tickStep 5– ENJOY

And now, it is time for your well-deserved, first swim of the season!

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12 Facts about Australian Swimming & Pools

  1. Only 11.7% of Australian homes have pools!
  2. The states and territories covering Australia’s north had the highest proportion of households with swimming pools: Northern Territory 28.9%, Queensland 17.9% and Western Australia 15.4%. The southernmost state, Tasmania had the lowest proportion of households with swimming pools (3.8%).
  3. Above ground pools 9.8%, in ground pools 2.0%.
  4. Only 2.4% of Australian homes have an outdoor spa.
  5. The Australian swimming season averages around 8 months long. It begins with the September school holidays and ends after ANZAC Day (April, 25th).
  6. Australia has 47 Olympic-size swimming pools.
  7. Swimming is what Australia’s do best. Our most Olympic medals come from Swimmers: Ian Thorpe with 9 medals (5 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze) and Leisel Jones with 9 medals (3 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze).Australian Lifesavers
  8. Swimming is one of the best ways to keep fit. It strengthens lungs, and can exercise almost all of your body. It is also recommended for people who are recovering from injuries as it is has low impact levels.
  9. An hour of vigorous swimming will burn up to 650 calories. It burns off more calories than walking or biking.
  10. Australia’s has voted the Bondi Icebergs as the best public pool in Australia.
  11. Swimming was a popular activity in sea baths on Sydney Harbour from about 1830, but men and women were not allowed to swim in the pool at the same time.
  12. Surf lifesaving originated in Australia, but both Bronte Surf Lifesaving Club and Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club claim to be the world’s first.

3 Non Australian (but very interesting) Facts

  1. The highest dive from a diving board is 53.9, by Olivier Favre (Switzerland) at Villers-le-Lac, France on 30 August 1987.
  2. The bikini swimsuit was named after a U.S. nuclear testing site in the South Pacific called Bikini Atoll.
  3. The world’s biggest pool is in The San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Chile. It is over 480 meters long and took almost 5 years to build.

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