Safer entry to the pool

Baby Splash Program: Why is it important to understand the importance of entering the pool safely?

woman handing baby to another woman in the pool

As a parent, understanding the risks when entering the pool is essential for protecting you and your baby and ensuring their safety as they learn to swim. Until the baby is mobile, parents are in full control of entering the pool. Once your baby is mobile, the approach to safer entries takes on an entirely different approach which we discuss in our Discovery Program classes. Your role as their primary caregiver is to ensure your baby is able to understand the Number1 water safety message, which is waiting until they are invited into the water. Supervision is the key and not allowing the child to never swim alone.

Entering safely and slowly will prevent your baby from startling whilst holding your baby in your arms. Depending on the type of pool it may be easier to pass your baby to the teacher ( or another parent when not in a class), so you may enter without navigating your way with your baby.

Different pools have different designs. When entering a pool alone here are some tips to make your entries safer.

Ramp or beach entries are designed for easy access where the depth gradually increases and walking into the pool allows you to support your baby all the way.

Steps also enable gradual and easy access into the pool. Make sure you hold onto the rail with one hand, and the other hand supporting your baby.

Ladder entry requires your baby to lie on a change mat, close to the edge of the pool. Enter down the ladder with your back to the water, and face the side of the pool. If your baby is likely to roll (age dependent) consider a seated entry.

Seated entry is the most common form of entering a pool. (Children learn to enter independently as young as 12months). Place your baby on a change mat next to you. Place your baby at a 90 degree angle to the pool to prevent them rolling into, or away from where you are entering. Place hands on the edge of the pool, between the pool and your baby. Roll onto your front and slide your feet down the wall. You will be able to see your baby and enter safely.

Ledges or wide steps can be tempting to use. We prevent parents from striding off the ledge into the pool whilst holding the baby. The risk of falling into the water, startling your baby or injury to yourself may occur. Step onto the ledge and sit and pass your baby to the teacher. Or place your baby on the side of the pool as in the seated entry, and reach across the step to pick up your baby.

By understanding the variety of entries, you will become confident in understanding the best entry for each pool. A secure entry sets the tone for your perfect aquatic experience right from the start.

The team at Rackley Swimming are here to support you every step of the way.