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When to take off armbands for swimming

Learning how to swim is one of the greatest achievements in childhood and something that will no doubt be valuable in adult life. However, sometimes, it is hard to tell when a child is ready to start swimming on his own without the help of armbands. This article gives a guide on how to lead children up to swimming without armbands.

Swimming aids

There are a number of flotation devices on the market that give children the confidence to start the first steps of learning how to swim. Arm floats are a great way of gradually reducing the need for a buoyancy aid. Delphin has made an arm-float, which are essentially foam discs that keep the child afloat. As the child builds up confidence in his swimming abilities, a disc can be removed from each arm until gradually, no discs are needed. The guideline for the swimming discs is three per arm. Another alternative to armbands are swim-rings. As they sit around the child's waist, it allows the child to use its arms and legs more freely, which in turn, builds the child's confidence up when the ring is later taken away. Floats are a great aid, acting as a stepping stone between swim bands and swimming completely free from aid. They allow the child to feel that if they get into trouble, for example, if they swallow water and begin to cough, they have something to hold on to while they compose themselves. They also act as a training aid, much like the swim-ring in order to learn how to kick properly.

Swimming solo

These next steps are a guideline on how to get a child to swim on his own - First of all, start by letting the child have a flotation device to help him to gain confidence when he is in the water. Let the child swim from the side towards you and back again. - When the child is comfortable with the water-aid, move on to float. It still offers the same security as the armbands or ring. However, it offers enough freedom to begin to teach the child how to react in the water when swimming solo. - The final step is in letting the child swim from the side of the pool towards you. After each sucessful lap, move back a bit further until the child can swim freely enough on his own.

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