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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.

 

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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Myths: All about Swimming

Myths – everyone knows them, everyone talks about them. But what is right and what is wrong?

Myth 1: You don’t get sunburnt in the waterMyth Vs Reality
This prejudice needs to be eliminated as the exact opposite is the case. Sun rays can reach up to one meter into the water. Apart from them reaching you through the water, sun rays are reflected from the water surface and their force is many times stronger. This mainly affects parts of the body above the water line, so regular sunscreen application is a must.

Myth 2: Do not go into the water with a full stomach
Doesn’t this remind you of your parents’ warnings? “Swimming with a full stomach will give you stomach cramps!” Is it true? There is no increased risk for people who go swimming after eating. However, we can note that a full stomach prevents swimmers from performing at their best level as the body is busy with the digestive process of the stomach.

Myth 3: Chlorine ‘roughens’ your hair and turns blonde hair green
Chlorine does in fact have a “roughening” effect on hair. Its specific effect on your hair depends on the type of chlorine, the level of chlorine in the water and how long your hair is in contact with the chlorine. After swimming in a swimming pool hair should be rinsed out with clean water to prevent the hair from roughening too much. Naturally blond or coloured hair can take on a greenish shade. This is not due to the chlorine in the pool, but because of the copper content in the water, which binds with the hair proteins. Fair-haired swimmers might consider putting a bathing cap on or using specific shampoos that assist in removing copper.

Myth 4: Swimming is bad for people with asthma
This is not true! Experts actually recommend swimming for asthma patients. It is one of the best and healthiest forms of exercise that people who suffer from asthma can do. While swimming, they breathe in the air near the surface of the water that is warmer and more humid (moist) in comparison to normal air. It also helps increase the volume of the lungs and its functions and is a healthy form of exercise for people of all ages.

Myth 5: Swimming is good for the back
Basically, all experts agree. Swimming strengthens the back muscles and prevents painful tension and poor posture. But swimming for people who already have back problems, especially with the spine, can rather harm the body. Especially inexperienced swimmers, who stretch their neck backwards to breathe better, put too much pressure on their cervical vertebrae and neck muscles and thereby trigger spasms and tension.

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Swimming to stay fit – why not start now?

Swimming is known for being one of the healthiest sport activities around the world. What makes it so special is the fact that it is a great low-impact workout for people of all ages and conditions. Pregnant women, people struggling with obesity, rehabilitation patients, seniors and even babies benefit from fun in the water. Why not you? You can’t swim with iPods, mobile phones, laptops or any other electronic devices. That is a great chance to stop the interruptions and to allow you to relax and feel good.

Swimming is great because it:Elderly couple in swimming pool
1) Is a relaxing and peaceful workout
2) Reduces stress
3) Advances coordination, balance and posture
4) Enhances flexibility
5) Is a healthy low-impact therapy for some injuries
and conditions
6) Is an enjoyable way to cool down
7) Is practicable in various places (swimming pools, beaches, rivers, dams and lakes).

Why swimming is good for you

Before you jump in:

1) Be sure you know how to swim.
2) Pick out a safe environment.
3) Get ready before you jump in the water by doing a quick warm up and by stretching your muscles and joints.
4) Make sure you have drinks close to you and drink regularly.
5) Don’t carry it to excess if you just started your workout.
6) Get a check-up at the doctor if you haven’t trained for a longer period.

Last but not least: Have you ever noticed that most people coming from the swimming pool are in a good mood? The relaxing effect of water has a positive impact on the psyche!

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Sources: wikihow.com, betterhealth.vic.gov.au, ernaehrungsstudio.nestle.de and vigo.de

5 tips for things to do to keep your skin look & feel great after swimming

Yes we love swimming but no we don’t like our after-swimming skin: itchy, red, dry, cracked or even wrinkled.

Woman with soft skin after swimming

The following five tips can help you keep a soft skin even if you’re swimming a lot.

1)     It may seem a little obvious but the first skin-care tip we can give you is to drink water! Before and after swimming. Why? Because dehydration make it harder to restore your body’s natural moisture.

2)     Right after a good swimming session, take a long bath or shower and put loads of moisturizer on your skin. Most of the cream will be absorbed and your skin will thank you for this.

3)     Wash your swimming costume with fresh water immediately after you come out of the pool to get rid of the chlorine.

4)     If, after your shower,  your skin is still:

  • Itchy or red = Put some ice cubes in a clean towel and rub it over your skin to reduce the itchiness or redness.
  • Dry = instead of applying a simple moisturizing cream, try Baby Oil or Vaseline.

5)     Supplement your diet with nutrients rich in vitamin E and C. Whilst vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, vitamin E improves the skin’s moisture retention capability.

If your skin often feels irritated after swimming, try changing the type of chemicals you use for your pool maintenance. Try our Soft Swim range for example; this is a revolutionary and very skin friendly mineral pool maintenance range.

Also please note that the chemical balance and cleanliness of your pool is an important factor in maintaining skin health. See one of our previous blogs such as the Four Easy Cleaning Steps for your pool for some useful tips.

Do you have any question or doubts? Feel free to contact one of our experts!

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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!

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