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Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim

Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim

Learning to swim should be easy. It seems so simple. Bodies will stay afloat in water because they’re buoyant. But, in some areas, children and adults never get exposed to the water to learn to swim. A surprising number of adults in the U.S. can’t swim, and many are petrified of the water as a result. How sad! These adults then don’t teach their children to swim, and the cycle continues.

Learning the skill of swimming can be taught in a few lessons.

Saving Lives by Learning to Swim

In some communities, access to swimming pools and other bodies of water is difficult. But, when the time comes, not knowing how to swim can be deadly.

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In states like Arizona with its deserts, it would seem unlikely that children would drown, but some children drown in canals and irrigation ditches, as well as swimming pools. Arizona children drown at twice the national average for children under age 15.

In Florida, surrounded by water, children drown because their community doesn’t have the community pools and other resources where children can learn to swim. In 2014, Florida led the country in child drownings with 50 children under 15 drowned.

Seeing these statistics, it reinforces just how important it is that children learn to swim. Acclimating children to water and teaching them to swim is not only a pleasurable activity, but it can be a life-saving one.

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Here are some strategies to save a child’s life, since all children are vulnerable to drowning:

Fence Your Pool

Make it difficult for a child to get into the enclosure. It is too easy for children to slip into a pool enclosure if there is not a lock on the gate. Pools need to be fenced, even if your yard is enclosed because children can slip in. And, make sure that anytime kids are in your pool an adult is supervising — and paying attention. Don’t let your pool be the source of a tragedy.

Enroll Your Child in Swimming Lessons

Be there for them and support them in the effort. Cheer them on and encourage them to succeed. If you decide to enroll your child in lessons, check out the program. If the program shows children how to start swimming by teaching them the “Dead man’s float” you might consider a different program.

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Get Involved

Participate in community efforts and partnerships to make swimming accessible to every child. Communities need partners from the business world to assist in this universal swimming project. By developing community pools and involving businesses, it builds a community. Businesses can sponsor swim teams, volunteer for coaching, and provide scholarships for swim classes. Children learn from example and by taking lessons, they have role models. They might even decide they want to be on a swim team, building physical stamina and self-confidence.

    Make Swimming Fun in Your Family

    A child who is fearful of the water needs role models to make the experience accessible. Take the kids to a pool or lake. Get your swimsuit on and be ready to stay with them for the experience. If you can swim, show them in easy steps how to begin. Begin with just getting in the water.

    For young children, use floats to give them a sense of security. Have them hold their breath out of the water, then make funny noises like a motorboat with most of their face out of the water. Ease them in gradually. Hold their arms and let them kick to get a rhythm. Make it fun.

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    Take Lessons Yourself

    If you are not a swimmer, take lessons with your child so you can be confident and know the skill you are promoting. A whole new world will open to both of you if you can share the experience of learning as well as the fun experiences of a day at the beach or pool.

    While swimming can be a pleasurable pastime, remember to stay with your child. Children need to be watched because an accidental drowning can happen very quickly. Once they are a confident and experienced swimmer, you can all relax and enjoy the water. And, the child will be comfortable around the water. On a hot summer day, you’ll be glad.

    Featured photo credit: Frank McKenna via unsplash.com

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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