How can you take away children’s fear of the swimming pool?
Most kids love going to the swimming pool. They love whizzing down the water slide at speed, splashing around in the water or riding big waves in the wave pool. In summer, the outdoor pool attracts all water rats for a cool refreshment and if the weather is not so optimal, then it just goes to the indoor pool. But not all children like the water fun – some of them are quite afraid of entering a pool and are happy if they don’t have to go there.
More about swimming for children
The reasons for swimming pool fear are different
Most often, the fear of the swimming pool has to do quite specifically with the fear of water. In addition, the size of the pool also plays a decisive role. The smaller a child is, the more he or she seeks safety and security. In some cases, however, the leisure pools are quite large and so confusing that children can quickly lose their bearings. On top of that, there are all the visitors, and the resulting background noise can make things even more unsafe.
And then there’s the water. How deep will it be? Can I even stand in there? What will happen in the current channel and will I sink in the water slide when I reach the bottom? Questions upon questions! If we look at a swimming pool through the eyes of an insecure child, we can certainly understand their fears better. Perhaps the offspring has already had a bad experience. Another child pushed him into the water or submerged him. Or the swimming aid, so reliable after all, has suddenly failed to do its job. The reasons for the swimming pool fear can be really quite different. But probably all parents who have an anxious child at home in this respect ask themselves how they can help their offspring.
nightmares in children and adolescents
Patience and small steps are helpful
As with all other fears, the fear of the swimming pool requires understanding and the willingness to respond to the child. Under no circumstances should the offspring be dragged into the water by force – with such measures one only achieves that the fear intensifies and the trust in the parents is broken. It is better to take things slowly. Small children do not yet need large recreational pools. They should first feel safe in their home wading pool or pool before going to a public bathing facility. Once this step is taken, the next step is to visit a small pool. If you don’t go at peak times (weekends or vacations), the crowds are usually kept to a minimum and you simply have more peace and quiet. A swimming or buoyancy aid provides additional safety, but in no way releases parents from their duty of supervision. Parents should always be close to the child to ensure safety. Very important: some parents are afraid of swimming themselves and are unsure. In this case, it is better to have another trusted person go into the pool with the fearful child, as the parents’ insecurity is quickly transferred to the child.
Learning to swim – sometimes the road is rocky
In many cases, however, the child’s fear of the indoor or outdoor pool is also due to a fear of water and swimming. The experience of being carried by water has to be made by the child himself. Patience and regular visits to the swimming pool are the only way to get the child used to this situation. In practice, so-called swimming discs have proven their worth, which are attached to the arms and can be gradually reduced as the child’s confidence increases. A swimming course can also be useful – but it should be a small group and the swimming instructor should be sensitive enough to accompany anxious kids optimally on their way to learning to swim. The speed at which a child learns this skill varies greatly. For example, some 4-year-olds are already able to stay afloat well, while other kids still join the non-swimmer ranks at school swimming. The long-awaited early swimmer’s badge “Seahorse” is the goal of every swimming course and once it adorns the swim trunks or swimsuit, then the pride in the eyes of the child with nothing more to surpass!
[Please note: Our articles cannot replace the advice of a doctor. In case of health problems, please always consult a doctor you trust].