Earlier the better in pool

2017-08-15 06:01
Nabilah Diedericks with two-year-old Andalusia Paulsen during a swimming lesson. Diedericks says a water-safe baby gives parents peace of mind.PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

Nabilah Diedericks with two-year-old Andalusia Paulsen during a swimming lesson. Diedericks says a water-safe baby gives parents peace of mind.PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

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Emergency services across the country have reported over 3000 deaths caused by drowning over the past few years. With an increase in the number of toddlers drowning, parents are frequently advised to send their children for swimming lessons from an early age.

Nabilah Diedericks, a local swimming instructor, says introducing babies to the pool can benefit both the child and parent in ­future.

The 26-year-old Sports Management graduate forms part of the Western Province Aquatics Committee and runs daily classes at Finz Aquatics and Fitness Development in Grassy Park.

“Swimming is all about fun. It is never easy at the start, but one thing I can promise – at the end of the day your child is given a fair opportunity to learn how to swim, guaranteeing you a water-safe baby with peace of mind,” she says.

The most common question parents are faced with is how difficult is it for children to learn how to swim. The main struggle is fear of the water, explains Diedericks.

“It really depends on what age the parent brings the child to the pool. The younger they are, the easier it is to work with them. They haven’t developed fear of the water yet. Others have developed fear, maybe something occurred, or they are just afraid to let go of their parents and be with a stranger. It is important to understand that while it might take longer for one kid to learn than another, they all will eventually get used to it.”

Diedericks says there are many challenges for swimming instructors across the globe.

“One big challenge is when a parent brings their kids and they start crying hysterically for two or three lessons. The parent pulls the child out, saying they don’t want to traumatise their baby any further. This is a common example of a parent quitting on their child. Parents shouldn’t give up too soon. Ultimately, that child will get comfortable in the water and will learn to swim,” she explains.

“It is important for parents to understand that learning how to be water safe is not supposed to be fun. There are essentials, and you have to teach them. The child might be crying about learning those essentials, but that makes the difference between being water safe and not. Once the essentials are in place, the child begins to have fun.”

Diedericks’s registered swim school was established in 2015 and has registered learn-to-swim coaches on site.

“We focus on and specialise in learn-to-swim and water safety for all age groups, starting at six months of age. We have a indoor heated pool and we are also the only swim school that specialises in children and adults with various special needs, such as autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome muscle rehabilitation and other ­disabilities.”

The school at 326 Klip Road in Grassy Park will be having an open day on Sunday 10 September at 11:00.

V For more information call Nabila Diedericks on 081 742 8127 or finzaquaticfitness@gmail.com or follow Finz Aquatics and Fitness Development on ­Facebook.

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