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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

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

 

Is your swimming pool registered? (NSW or QLD)

shutterstock_128732618Have you heard of registering your pool in NSW or QLD? For those who have not done so yet, this is a registration for all pool and spa owners that must occur by law if you live in NSW or QLD. You can register your pool online by clicking on the links provided in the bracket for your respective state (NSW & QLD ). If you do not register there is a risk of incurring a fine ($220 with the possibility of an additional fine of $2000 if the council refers the matter to the court).

Note: Registering your pool does not mean it is compliant. It just means it is listed on the swimming pool register.

The Register All owners of pools and spas (both in ground or above ground capable of holding water in excess of 30cm in depth) will be placed in the register. This register ensures that all pool and spa owners will be provided with the right information so that they’ll be able to comply with the current regulations and legislation in effect. The register has come into effect to reduce drowning which is the primary cause of death or injury to children 5 and under. This is a very serious problem as one child under five drowns every week in Australia. These startling figures should not be the case in Australia, and we hope that they will lessen over the years. Therefore as a pool or spa owner, you have a duty to ensure the safety and protection of children.

A Good Reason to Register We hope that you will register before you incur a fine, but more than that, for the safety of those that you love.

Sources: http://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/ https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/home-building-owners/pool-safety/find-pool-safety-inspector-search-property-or-register-your-pool

Getting Ready for Christmas

Christmas is approaching and many people are
stressing to get everything done in time. AndMerry Christmas of course there are also people who wait till the last moment to arrange everything. So if you are not completely done or even have to start planning, here are a few tips that can help you.

Tip 1 Christmas playlist

Every good party has music and it starts with a great Christmas playlist. Although it’s summer weather in Australia during the Christmas days, these songs may get you into the mood. A few of these songs are; All I want for Christmas is You, Underneath the Three and Jingle Bells.

Tip 2 Decorate

Nothing like celebrating Christmas with a Christmas tree or Santa hat. Don’t hesitate or limit yourself! You can decorate everything you want, even your pool! Give the pool lighting some custom red and green colors or decorate it with Santa hats or Red noses.

Tip 3 Christmas food and drinks

Besides cookies, a good gingerbread house is also a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit with your family. You can make it together with your children and eat it on Christmas day. For the Christmas dinner you can make traditional food together also. A good warm Christmas drink can be mint chocolate or some hearty eggnog, mmm.

Tip 4 Gifts

Receiving gifts and giving gifts to your dear ones is something we love about Christmas. Getting gifts is only half the fun, so make a list with the gifts you want to give to your family and friends. This can be something they’ve wanted for a long time or something fun. The feeling you get of seeing your loved ones feeling the warmth and happiness is one of the best feelings in the world.


This is perhaps the most important tip that we can give you. Christmas is about coming together and celebrate this time together with your loved ones. This will make you happy and the best preparation for these days is to be happy. These days are the only days where you don’t have to worry about anything else, except yourself and your family so remember to enjoy it!

Merry Christmas!

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Seven pool safety rules to teach your kids

The number of swimming pool drownings in Australia doubled last year and the number of pool accidents continues to rise. Children tend to get very excited around pools, of course you don’t want to take the joy of playing in a pool away from them, but making sure they are save is vital. Here are seven basic safety rules you could to teach your kids to make sure swimming pools remain a fun and a great thing to have at home!bigstock-Health-and-safety-22949744 1. Never let your kids go in or around the pool if there is no adult to supervise. If you are the adult, do not leave them alone, even for a minute. Take all you need with you (phone, sunscreen, towels etc.) when you are going out to the pool with the kids. If you need to go back inside, ask the kids to go out from the pool and sit for a minute.

2. Kids love playing in the water. That’s fine but one rule should be to not run around the pool as the floor gets slippery and hazardous really quickly.

3. Ask your kids to not push or jump on others as they can accidentally hurt someone or themselves.

4. Do not allow glass or potential hazards in the pool area as kids won’t be wearing shoes and could trip over them.

5. Toys should not be on the edge of the pool as children might tip over them and hurt themselves badly.

6. Do not allow your kids to go to the pool with part of the pool cover still covering it, they could get trapped under it. Always take off the cover entirely.

7. Do not explain to them how to open the pool gate, that way they will be forced to wait for you to go to the pool.

We hope these tips helped!

Do you have any questions or comments? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or contact one of our experts!

10 Swimming Pool Games For Kids AND Adults

bigstock-Family-Having-Fun-In-Swimming--39238069At Pool Shop Liverpool, we do our absolute best to assist you in your daily use and maintenance of your swimming pool, and we know that having a perfectly clean pool is useless if no one is enjoying it right?

That is why we have put together our top 10 pool game ideas for the entire family. Let’s all jump into the pool and have a good time!

1 – Bottle race

Take an empty bottle and remove the wrapper. Ask the other players to stand on the edge of the pool with their backs to the water. Fill the bottle with pool water and drop it somewhere in the pool. As soon as you say ‘Go’ all players get to turn around and jump into the water. The person to find the bottle first is the winner!

2 – Noodle race
Make teams of 2 (you will need at least 2 teams). Each player in the game has to have his or her own noodle. Ask all players to stand on the edge of the pool. When the race starts, the first player of each team jumps into the pool with the noodle and is to swim to the other edge of the pool and back. He/she touches the 2nd player’s hand who then does the same. The first team with two players out of the pool wins!

3 – Treasure hunt
Gather coins for a total amount of $4. Throw all the coins in the pool and ask each team to find exactly $2. The winner is the 1st team that gets out of the pool with the right amount of money.

4 – Guess who I am
Make teams of a minimum of 2 people each. Everyone has to write 5 animals on 5 different pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. One after the other, one player of each team takes a piece of paper and jumps into the water imitating the animal written on the paper. His/her team has to guess what he/she is imitating. If the team guesses the right answer, the team keeps the piece of paper, if not, they put back the piece of paper into the jar. Once the jar is empty, the winner is the team with the most pieces of paper.

5 – Balloon race
Make teams of two, each of which get one balloon filled with water. The players of each team stand face to face, one on each side of the pool. When the game starts each team member is close to the edge of the pool. They throw the balloon to their teammate. If the balloon falls into the water or explodes, your team loses. If it doesn’t, both team members take a small step backwards. The winner is the last team left with a balloon.

6 – Dolphin relay
Each team has a ball. Each team member is standing in the pool, one player on each side of the pool facing each other, back against the wall. One side starts: the player can only move the ball with their nose while they are swimming. Once the 1st player arrives on the other side of the pool, the 2nd starts. The winner is the first team with the 2nd player out of the pool after crossing the pool moving the ball with his/her nose. If anyone uses his or her hands, the person should start again from the beginning.

7 – Watermelon race
This is an individual race; players must swim from one end of the pool to the other with a watermelon between their legs. If the watermelon is lost, the player starts again. The first player touching the edge of the pool wins.

8 – Marco Polo
One person is chosen to be “it”. Once the game starts, this person closes his/her eyes and counts to 10 while the rest of the players swim away from him/her. When he/she arrives at number 10, no one moves. The “it” person keeps his/her eyes closed. He yells “Marco! The others have to respond with “Polo”. Using their voices, “it” tries to find them in the pool. The 1st person to be touched becomes the next “it” person.

9 – Shark in the water
Allocate one player to be the shark. The shark starts in the water; all the other players jump into the pool and have to swim to the edge of the pool. If a player gets ‘tapped’ by the shark they become the new shark. All players are only allowed to stay out of the pool for a maximum of 5 seconds a time.

10 – Cannonball splash
The players are lined up at the edge of the pool. One or more people are nominates as judges that who assign points for each splash. The player that creates the biggest and best splash wins the game.

We’d love it if you give your opinion about the games you’ve tried and suggest new ideas on our Facebook page!

 

When playing games in the pool, there should be an adult present at all times ensuring everyone is safe. Make sure to identify each child’s swimming skills before playing any game. Kids should not be encouraged to engage in dangerous activities or run around pools.