When is the right time to teach your children about WATER SAFETY? WaterWise Instructor Marcus Oshry gives his opinion on a very important topic…
After my last article about the incident with my daughter and the pool cover, my mind has been hard at work regarding my children and when and how to teach them about water safety. I have spoken to many of my friends who all have young children and most of them didn’t know what the answer was. I am also not sure of the answer as I am a fairly new dad and the books don’t really mentioned how and when to teach your children about water safety. There are many opinions on the web about when to teach your children to swim but not about water safety.
My opinion is that it is never too soon to teach your child about water safety. From as early as 15 months, my daughter could tell me that a cup of coffee was hot by saying “shu shu” and blowing into my cup. If she can remember that little fact, she can remember that waves can knock her over, that she mustn’t run into the water at the beach. Small ideas that we can plant into our children’s minds so that they can grow that thought each time they are at the beach or near water.
I took Taylor to the beach the other day when it was nice and warm and we sat on the rocks chatting. Well daddy was chatting. Taylor was listening. I was showing her the waves … and I mentioned to her that the waves will knock her over and that she mustn’t go into the water by herself. We sat there for a while and at 19 months, I could see her little mind processing the information.
After a while she was playing in the sand and my wife and I were just sitting chatting when Taylor came up to me, took my hand and dragged me to the waters edge. The water ran up passed our feet and back into the ocean again. All this time she held my hand. She then pointed at a wave crashing and said, “BOOM”
I think sometimes we underestimate the intellect of a young child and how much they really do take into their tiny growing minds…
Marcus is a WaterWise Instructor sponsored by TNPA.