Who doesn’t love a beach day on a balmy summer day? There’s really nothing like it!
If you’re planning to teach your child how to swim in the sea this summer, you’ll need a combination of patience, safety consciousness and fun activities to make the experience an enjoyable and successful one!
At Fulton Swim School, we’ve been teaching Kiwis of all ages to swim and stay safe in the water for 18 years! So, before you dive into glorious beach days with your family, here’s some advice from our expert team.
Our Tips for Teaching Your Child How to Swim in the Sea
When planning a beach day, you want everyone in your family to know how to stay safe in the water. Part of that is educating your family on the dangers of the beach as well as how to behave safely while you’re there and another part is teaching them how to swim in the sea.
We’ve already covered how swimming lessons can help your child with beach safety, but how can you support your child to learn to swim in the ocean? Firstly, remember to always swim between the flags, plan ahead and get prepared beforehand, keep a watchful eye on your family and the weather, and check out our top tips for how to swim in the sea below!
Brush up on your own swimming skills!
First and foremost, it’s essential that you feel confident in the sea yourself. Whenever your children are in the water, you’ll want to stay an arm’s reach away from them, that way, if the unthinkable happens, you’ll be ready to swoop in if you need to.
It’s important to remember that you can’t teach your child how to swim in the sea if you’re not 100% sure how to yourself, and we don’t want you to put yourself at risk in the ocean either. While teaching your little one how to swim, there will be the risk of rips and waves, and of course, if your child feels unsafe, there’s a high chance they’ll cling to you for support which could make it difficult for you to swim.
If you think it might be time to brush up on your own swimming and water safety, then it’s time to book yourself in for swimming lessons. While many swim schools only offer lessons for children, we’re proud to offer swimming lessons for adults, because we believe that water safety is important no matter what age you are. Plus, it’s a fun way to exercise and it’s easy on the joints! Adult lessons are currently available at our Botany, Upper Hutt, Papamoa, Puni and Patumahoe locations.
So, are you ready to do something for yourself? Quieten the world and listen to the sound of the water - put your busy life on pause and come enjoy swimming lessons. All of our pools are heated to 32 degrees celsius to keep our swimmers nice and comfortable so there is no excuse - you can enrol yourself in swimming lessons at your local Fulton Swim School now so you’re ready to teach your family to swim in the sea this summer!
Choose a safe beach
Once you’re ready, it’s time to choose a beach. It probably goes without saying that you’ll want to swim at a beach where the water is calm and the lifeguards are ready.
If you’re looking for the perfect beach around Auckland, you might want to give Piha a miss (and any other surf beaches for that matter). Instead, opt for smaller, calmer beaches, and choose a day where the waves aren’t wild!
Of course, you want to watch out for Mother Nature’s waves and tides, but you’ll also want to check for pollutants such as wastewater and algae blooms too. If in doubt, find somewhere else!
Once you’ve found a safe beach, remember to practise safe swimming. Start in the shallow water and avoid going out deeper than your waist in case of waves, keep an eye out for changes in the conditions, stay close to your child and keep a close eye on them throughout the day.
Avoid setting expectations
Rather than telling your child you’ll be going to the beach to learn to swim, take the pressure off by asking them if they’d like to visit a certain place for an ice cream on a warm day, try a new water-based activity, build the biggest sandcastle, look for marine life, or explore a specific area.
Taking the focus away from learning to swim and switching it to having a fun-filled day out will help to put your child at ease around the water and let them enjoy themselves! If they aren’t feeling confident, don’t push them. Instead, play on the shore, try again another day or consider popping into your local Fulton Swim School for more lessons to help overcome any fears before you take your child to swim in the sea again.
Make it a fun adventure!
Since you may be planning a small road trip to your chosen beach anyway, why not make an adventure out of it?!
Pack the essentials (togs, towels, warm clothes, sun protection and first aid supplies, food and water, etc.), plus lots of yummy snacks and money for ice creams, beach toys and whatever else you think would make it more fun for your little ones!
If you’ve had a great day out, we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have some very sleepy travellers on the drive home - beach days can be exhausting in the best way! Just remember to keep an eye on everyone even once you’re home to ensure your whole family is warm enough, but not too hot, and well hydrated and fed.
Can Fulton Swim School help?
If you want your child to learn to swim in the sea, taking swimming lessons is a great idea! We firmly believe that swimming lessons are worth the investment, not just for your child’s safety at the beach, but also for their health and happiness.