If you or anyone in your family is afraid of the water, it is important to find ways to overcome that fear. Others may not realize a person has that fear and jokingly toss them in a backyard not knowing they are are afraid of the water and can’t swim.
There are many ways to overcome the fear of water while also ensuring good pool safety precautions to protect that person and anyone else that may fear water or not know how to swim.
First, you need to address the anxiety and help establish trust with the person to make sure they know you are concerned about their fear. It doesn’t help to tell them “there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Take it slow with one step at a time in terms of calming them down, having them approach the water, and then encouraging them to be in the water. Help by showing them what to do and that they will be okay when they do the same. Patience is the key to helping build that trust and overcome the fear of water.
Overcome Fear of Swimming
Swimming.org is a good source for how to help someone overcome their fear of swimming. Each step involves getting more comfortable with water like standing in it, splashing water on your face, and holding your breath underwater. You can also hold the side of the pool and practice your kicking.
From there, you can learn to float when you are ready. This builds confidence, helps lower the fear of water, and helps add water safety to the process. This is an important step that others can help with, including an adult or swim instructor.
It’s not just children that may need to overcome their fear of swimming. Adults are also susceptible to fear of water and swimming. The same need to establish trust, take it slow, and learn to float are imperative for adults. It may take longer for an adult to overcome their fears, so patience is important, because they have had many more years to live with that fear.
Maintain Water Safety
Whether you know how to swim, are just learning, or you are overcoming your fear of water, there are some water safety tips to keep in mind.
Always have an adult who can swim nearby if a novice swimmer is the in water. Have a swim buddy who can rescue you should anything go wrong. Never leave any child or non-swimmer unattended. Children and inexperienced swimmers should wear life jackets, but don’t use these as a substitute for supervision.
Pool Safety Measures
Here are some pool safety measures to keep all non-swimmers or new swimmers safe regardless if they are children or adults:
- Install removable four-foot or five-foot pool fencing with self-closing, self-latching gates that encompasses and encloses the entire pool area.
- Use pool alarms.
- Consider a safety cover or safety net if you don’t want to install a pool safety fence.
- Remove any objects that provide access to the pool area.
- Remove toys from pool area after use to not attract children back to that area.
Other tips include:
- Stay within arm’s reach when supervising children in the pool.
- Remove all distractions, such as cell phone viewing and texting, while supervising children and non-swimming adults.
- Have safety equipment nearby, including a pole, life jackets, life ring, and First Aid kit. Have emergency phone numbers nearby.
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