I was out sailing in the Caribbean with my son and my wife. It was a beautiful day and we were having a great time. Suddenly, out of nowhere, my son fell overboard. We were only a few feet from shore and I didn’t know how to swim. My wife tried to grab him but he slipped out of her grasp and went under. She was panicking and I was trying to figure out what to do. I knew that if I jumped into the water I could be pulled under too. I knew I had to get my son back into the boat but I couldn’t get him to come up. I started yelling for help and suddenly someone grabbed me by the arm and pulled me onto the boat. The lifeguard came running and I told him what happened. He said that there was nothing he could do because it was a rule that you can’t go in the water without a life jacket. Then he asked me if I knew how to swim. I told him that I could swim and he told me to jump in the water and see if I could find my son. I did and he was okay. He was just playing around. It was a good lesson for him.
The lesson here is:
“If you want to make sure that your child learns how to swim, don’t let them play around in the water.”
We have all seen children playing in the shallow end of a pool or in the surf at the beach. They are usually wearing a life vest and their parents are watching over them. We are not suggesting that you have your child wear a life vest when they are playing in the water. That would defeat the purpose of having them play in the water in the first place. However, if you are going to take them out in the water, you should teach them how to use a life vest. You can do this by putting one on yourself and then teaching them how to put it on. Then, when they are ready, you can teach them how to use it. If they are too young to understand how to put it on, you can buy a vest that is already fitted for them. This way, they will learn how to use it before they ever need it.
You can also teach them how to swim. You can do this by getting in the water with them. You can swim with them for a while and then ask them to swim back to you. You can also teach them how to float on their backs. This is important because they need to know how to stay afloat if they fall overboard.