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Babies in the Water: Is it Safe?

I'm sure that there are at least some that read this blog with a grain of salt: so it's nice to have somebody else who speaks with authority about some of them confirm them. Read on and make sure you check out the bio.


Picture of a baby being assisted to float in the water. Babies in the Water: Is it Safe?

The ability to swim is an activity that many enjoy whether it is for health reasons or for sheer entertainment. Teaching a child to swim at an early age will not only keep them active in a world where childhood obesity is a concern, but it could save his or her life as well. Babies are very adept at being able to swim because of natural instincts. Parents have little to concern themselves with while the baby is at an early age. However, we lose these kinds of instincts as we get older and teaching a child the proper way to survive the water needs to be addressed prior to the toddler stages of development.

1. Diving Reflex

- Although it fades after approximately six months, the Diving Reflex is where a baby will automatically hold his or her breath an immediately open the eyes if the head is submerged in water. Scientists and doctors speculate that this reaction is from the memory of being inside the womb. Even a baby's heart rate will slow after being submerged.

2. Swimming Reflex

- The Swimming Reflex is another instinctual action that the baby will automatically begin doing if he or she is placed in the water stomach first. Like the Diving Reflex, this instinct fades at around the age of six months or so and doesn't mean that the child can swim within the environment. The survival instincts of a baby overcome any fear or anticipation that many older children and adults are faced with if they are submerged in the water against their will.

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3. After Instincts

- The proper time to teach a child how to swim in the real world varies according to many opinions. While child care professionals suggest waiting until the child is four years old, many instructors work with children who are as young as six months. You would think that taking the baby frequently to the pool as they are developing would give them the confidence to survive in the water without a three and a half year lapse in knowledge. Children who spend a great deal of their development in the water could theoretically excel at swimming.

4. Pool Water

- With all of the baby's natural instincts, drowning is still a possibility. Humans are not related to fish and we cannot survive without specific levels of oxygen minus the hydrogen. It does mean that baby can begin to grasp the concept of swimming, and as long as you have them supported in the water.

Large amounts of swallowed pool water can be toxic for the baby. Of course, this is true for anyone who frequents a chlorine-treated pool. The possibility of death is extremely rare, but it could still create a bad situation including vomiting and diarrhea.

Babies are amazingly resilient when it comes to surviving instances that we cringe at the thought of. This isn't saying that your baby should be flying around with a cape, but activities like swimming don't need to exclude your little one. You will be amazed at how well he or she takes to the water without fear.

   Amanda Carlson

Author Bio: Amanda Carlson is a blogger, as well as a former newborn care nurse, contributed to this post. You can reach her at amanda.newborncare@gmail.com.

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